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COVID-19: Is it worth giving the Pfizer jab to 12-year-olds? Vaccine experts now face an ethical dilemma | UK News

The results of clinical trials released on Friday by the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) once again show how good the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is.

It not only protects adults to an impressive degree; we can now say with some certainty that it also protects older children.

It is now for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) to decide whether this the whole age group 12 to 15 years old should be vaccinated, a decision fraught with ethical complexities.

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The question they will need to ask themselves is whether it is worth giving the vaccine to people who are only at limited risk of COVID-19[female[feminine.

For the elderly, the risk-benefit calculation is clear: the vaccine is very safe and the virus is very dangerous.

But young adults are much less likely to be hit hard.

If we have doses to offer them, wouldn’t we do better to distribute them to at-risk adults around the world?

One aspect of this consideration is safety.

If a vaccine is potentially risky, giving it to someone who doesn’t need it seems ethically questionable.

But of the 2,000 children aged 12 to 15 who participated in the clinical trial, none reported new side effects.

Most felt nothing more than a sore arm or fatigue.

The numbers involved are too small to be completely sure there aren’t any rarer side effects, but they do give a cautious green light for further deployment.

That is why the JCVI will carefully review the efficacy data, especially the parts suggesting that the vaccine may be able to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

None of the children in the vaccinated group got COVID-19 once their dose started.

In contrast, there were 16 cases in the placebo group.

Professor Neil Ferguson suggested that the Delta variant, formerly known as the Indian variant, could be as much as …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-04 12:06:00

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