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The United Kingdom will not vaccinate most teenagers against COVID-19

The United Kingdom has decided not to issue the COVID-19 vaccine to some children. Here’s why

Mary Williams receives an injection of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Mary Williams, right, receives an injection of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at the mass vaccination center in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. The United Kingdom has decided not to vaccinate most children and teenagers against the novel coronavirus until there’s enough data to make sure it is safe for that age group, The Associated Press reports.
Scott Heppell, Associated Press

The United Kingdom has decided not to vaccinate most children and teenagers against the novel coronavirus until there’s enough data to make sure it is safe for that age group, The Associated Press reports.

Can teens get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Right now, some children in the United Kingdom will be allowed to get the vaccine, including some with disabilities and compromised health, including:

  • Children with neuro-disabilities.
  • Children with Down syndrome.
  • Any children with immunosuppression.
  • Any child with multiple or severe learning disabilities.
  • Teens who have household members who are immunosuppressed.

The decision comes after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization ruled that the benefits of the vaccine don’t outweigh the risks for most young people, who typically suffer mild symptoms of COVID-19, according to The Associated Press.

Is this a good idea?

Devi Sridhar, chairman of global public health at Edinburgh University, told The Guardian that she was surprised by the U.K.’s decision to not vaccinate teenagers.

  • “The U.S., Canada, Italy and many other countries have run ahead vaccinating teens given clinical trials showing Pfizer is safe and effective with benefits outweighing risks,” she said, according to The Guardian.

COVID-19 continues to rise in Britain

Britain is currently seeing a new round of coronavirus cases as the delta variant continues to surge, according to Reuters. The area’s death toll remains among the highest in the world with two-thirds of its population fully vaccinated.