Should we delay COVID-19 vaccination in children?


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The net benefits of vaccinating children are unclear and should be given priority to vulnerable people around the world, experts say. The BMJ today.

But others argue that COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for some children and that children should not be disadvantaged. which prevent global vaccination.

Dominic Wilkinson, Ilora Finlay and Andrew Pollard say that for a health system that offers any vaccine to a child, two key ethical questions need to be asked. First, do the benefits outweigh the risks? Second, if the vaccine is scarce, does anyone else need it?

“Careful attention to both questions suggests that we should not yet deploy COVID-19 vaccination to healthy children other than themselves.”

They recognize it in , the benefits of COVID vaccines clearly outweigh the rare side effects. And it is likely that in children with certain serious chronic or acute diseases occur and therefore these children should have access to a vaccine. “But in children who are not healthy, currently no one can be sure.”

But they say one thing we can be sure of is that in the UK, there are currently people who are at a much higher risk of COVID-19 than healthy children. And most they have completely vaccinated less than 5% of their community.

Some might ask, why should we choose? Can’t we vaccinate children as well as overseas ones? But, to put it simply, there are now a limited number of vaccine doses.

“As adults, we have had to wait our turn for the vaccine. We have understood that, given its scarcity, the vaccine should be prioritized for people most at risk of dying.” This clear and inescapable ethic now applies to our children, they conclude. His turn will come, but not yet.

But Lisa Forsberg and Anthony Skelton say vaccinating children against COVID-19 protects them — and others — from the risk of infection damage and death, and is the best way to promote children’s well-being by minimizing the need for restrictions or alterations. his life. resulting from a lack of proper management of the spread of infection.

They say the argument is wrong that children are less likely to be severely infected with COVID-19 infection and therefore benefit less from a vaccine that protects them from it.

“It exposes children to unknown risks of serious illness and long-term health complications. In addition, we now know that exposing children to these risks disproportionately harms already disadvantaged children.”

Another argument for delaying vaccination of children is that priority should be given to older adults in developing countries where the supply of vaccines has been limited.

However, they point out that currently the global shortage of vaccine supply is the result of political decisions.

“The ethically defensible choice is to exert as much pressure as we can to minimize hoarding and distributing vaccines to developing countries, while issuing patents and enabling the manufacture and supply of vaccines on a larger scale, to enable vaccination of adults and children everywhere, ”they write.

They believe that accepting the narrative “austerity” that you have to wait until the maximum in other countries deviations can be vaccinated focus on the real problem: that benefits are valued throughout life. “Here, as elsewhere, we are failing in our responsibilities to avoid aggravating the existing injustice,” they conclude.

WHO: Vaccinating children “is not a priority” in the midst of scarcity

More information:
Should we delay covid-19 vaccination in children? The BMJ, DOI: 10.1136 / bmj.n1687

Citation: Should we delay COVID-19 vaccination in children? (2021, July 8) Retrieved July 8, 2021 at

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