Calum Semple, a member of the UK government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), says not enough is known about possible side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines in children, reported The Guardian.
"Vaccines are safe, but not entirely risk-free," Semple said, noting "we are aware in adults about clots, and there's some safety data from America showing rare heart problems associated with some of the vaccines. So until that data is really complete for children, I'm not persuaded that the risk benefit for children has been clarified."
The UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is expected to advise the government later this summer on whether to allow children over 12 to be vaccinated.
Russell Viner of the University College London institute of child health and former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, noted teenagers and children would become the primary source of infection for vulnerable individuals once most adults had been double-jabbed.
"Once vaccine supply is less of an issue and we have adequate safety data, my personal belief is that we should be vaccinating our teenagers at the same time as contributing towards international supply," Viner said.
However, Viner said the question of whether to vaccinate younger children under the age of 12 was a separate one, with little available safety data for this age group. "Young children have quite different immune responses to even older adolescents and adults, and that I think counsels caution," he added.
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