Vaccinating under 18s is “new territory”, says Sheffield health chief
Children with complex medical problems have been offered the Covid vaccine – but Sheffield’s health chief says giving all teenagers the jab is a balancing act.
Director of Public Health Greg Fell says children from the age of four who are extremely clinically vulnerable were offered the vaccine a few months ago.
He said: “It’s a decision made by parents and clinicians whether they have it but all the offers have been made.”
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is due to give guidance to the Government about jabs for under 18s over the next few days.
Government minister Robert Jenrick said children aged 12 or over who live with vulnerable people could be a priority along with those about to turn 18.
Mr Fell said the committee needed to give guidance one way or the other soon.
“What we have seen this past term is that kids are going to get Covid in school, it’s inevitable. Which is riskier – Covid or vaccinations?
“We have seen the vaccine is safe and effective but there are side effects, as with all vaccines.
“Vaccination protects people whether they are children or adults, it protects older people from going into hospital or dying and it protects people from transmissions.
“If a lot of children are off school that’s a lot of children not getting an education so anything we can do to protect children’s education is a good thing.
“This is new territory and all these factors have to be in the mix.”