Dr Hilary said it ‘makes sense’ to give the Covid-19 vaccine to 12-year-olds as schools return after the summer break.
Speaking on Wednesday’s Good Morning Britain, he shared that the government is still waiting for guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation where ‘opinion is divided’.
He added that if there are enough vaccines are available to protect the most vulnerable people as well as 12-year-old children then it would be beneficial to vaccinate both groups as younger people are contracting Covid-19.
Turning to what the committee has to weigh up before giving official guidelines, he went on: ‘There are two things to consider, first the most vulnerable age group is still the elderly and those people with pre-existing conditions.
‘If we vaccinate children of 12 and over we give them added protection, but they’re not very vulnerable anyway at that age and there’s not a huge amount of evidence that you’d reduce transmission significantly. So if you’re not reducing transmission those are better used in the more vulnerable age group.
‘However the government say they have capacity to vaccinate both groups at the same time, and if that’s the case then that makes sense as we are seeing younger children get Covid.
‘We know that at the Boardmasters festival, out of the 5000 attendees there was a link to 4700 cases and two thirds of those were in the 16-21 year old age group. So they are vulnerable and we are seeing younger people being admitted to hospital as cases rise.’
Dr Hilary described the return to school as ‘a great concern to many headteachers’.
‘They’re thinking, all very well, it’s relatively safe coming back to school but we could make it safer,’ the medical professional added.
‘Why don’t we make it safer by keeping some mitigating measures which at least protect children from Covid running rampant through schools and getting more cases?’
The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine has been approved for young people aged between 12 and 15 in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, following a ‘rigorous review’ of safety and effectiveness within the age group.
Meanwhile booster jabs could be offered to the UK’s most vulnerable next week as NHS leaders have plans in place to offer a third jab to at least 30 million over-50s and clinically vulnerable people.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
Credit: Original article published here.