Plaid Cymru tell Welsh Gov follow latest expert advice on vaccinating some children
Plaid Cymru has told the Welsh government that it should follow the latest expert advice on vacinating some children.
The party responding to the news that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended Covid vaccine for some children between the ages of 12 and 17 from today
The JCVI is now advising that children at increased risk of serious Covid-19 disease are offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
This includes children between the ages of 12 and 15 with severe neurodisabilities, Down’s syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities.
It is also recommending that children and young people aged 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed person should be offered the vaccine to protect those who are at higher risk of serious disease from Covid-19.
Plaid Cymru spokesperson for children and young people, Siân Gwenllian MS said: “Welsh Government should follow the JCVI advice. It’s right that steps are taken to reduce the likelihood of the virus running riot amongst our young people: They have already suffered deep harm from the effects of isolation and disrupted learning.
“We can’t allow the virus to spread freely, especially with emerging evidence about the impact of long-Covid on this age group.
“However, the Health Minister must provide reassurance that the decisions around vaccinating children are kept constantly under review, particularly as more international data becomes available.
“In the meantime, there are other protective measures that can and should be taken, such as ensuring adequate ventilation in all educational settings.”
The medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has already approved the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use among children aged 12 and over in the UK.
Professor Anthony Harnden, Deputy Chair of the JCVI, said: “The primary aim of the vaccination programme has always been to prevent hospitalisations and deaths.
“Based on the fact that previously well children, if they do get Covid-19, are likely to have a very mild form of the disease, the health benefits of vaccinating them are small.
“The benefits of reducing transmission to the wider population from children are also highly uncertain, especially as vaccine uptake is very high in older people who are at highest risk from serious Covid-19 infection.
“We will keep this advice under review as more safety and effectiveness information becomes available.”