Vaccine “shortage” is being blamed for the delay in administering vaccines to youngsters, according to Pfizer and Moderna.
A senior scientist claims that the likely decision not to offer coronavirus vaccinations to adolescents and teens is due to a scarcity of Pfizer and Moderna dosages.
Professor Anthony Costello has recently given a caution to young people about the dangers of so-called extended Covid. The vaccination is being prepared for 12 to 15-year-olds with underlying health issues and those living with vulnerable adults by the NHS.
The Pfizer vaccine, which was licensed for use in children in that age group by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency last month after a “rigorous evaluation,” is likely to be given to children.
The Moderna vaccine is not officially approved for use in children, but the EU is expected to make a decision next week on whether to approve it.
The jab developed by AstraZeneca, which is extensively used in the UK, is presently not advised for children under the age of 18.
Prof Costello, the former Professor of International Child Health and Director of the Institute for Global Health at University College London, said during Friday’s Independent SAGE briefing: “The child vaccination tale is interesting.”
“Because, despite the fact that they’re delaying and claiming that they’re not sure and that it’s not a huge deal, I believe the real reason is that Pfizer and Moderna don’t have enough supplies.
“And I believe we are currently experiencing a supply shortage, which is why they are denying approval for younger children.”
Prof Costello expressed his concerns about any potential herd immunity approach that the Government might take, which would allow the disease to “rip through the population,” at a time when scientists are concerned about the potential impact of the so-called Beta variant, which scientists fear may be immune to existing vaccines.
Prof Costello, who served as the World Health Organization’s director of maternity, child, and adolescent health from 2015 to 2018, warned: “If you look at long Covid, we know that among children in the secondary school age range, roughly 14 percent, or almost one in eight, will have long Covid symptoms.”
“We don’t know what the long-term effects are – long Covid is pretty awful, you get all kinds of symptoms, and it can last a long time,” says the researcher.
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