Vaccinate 5-11 year olds to protect UK schools, scientists say | Coronavirus

Leading scientists have called for vaccination of young children to keep as many as possible in school next year, as cases of Omicron rise dramatically in the UK.

Professor Peter Openshaw, a member of the Government’s Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (Nervtag), said without vaccination of children there could be huge disruption to education and related health issues. to infection now outweighed the initial caution justified by extending vaccination to five – up to 11 years.

“There was more uncertainty earlier. It is now becoming clearer that vaccination is generally safe and that it is better to be vaccinated than to be infected, ”he said. “For me, it’s clear: the safest option is to get vaccinated.

Deepti Gurdasani, clinical epidemiologist and senior lecturer at Queen Mary University in London, said schooling would be “not feasible” next year without expanding the vaccination program to primary school age groups. “There has been no discussion of how we are going to protect children in January when schools reopen,” she said. “The United States has immunized five million children. EMA [European Medicines Agency] approved, FDA [US Food and Drug Administration] approved, there is no word from the MHRA [the UK regulator] which is quite impressive.

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