Trials of Covid vaccine in children as young as five set to begin


rials of the Covid-19 jab on children as young as five will soon get underway, a leading vaccine expert said, as officials grapple with how to keep schools open after the summer.

Professor Adam Finn, head of the Bristol Children’s Vaccine Centre, said giving the inoculations to millions of children may be necessary to keep the virus at bay.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “In terms of trials in children we have got one study underway and certainly a lot enthusiasm and engagement with that and no problems so far – just using the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine in teenagers and expecting shortly to be given the go-ahead to start recruiting younger children from the age of five.

The professor of paediatrics at Bristol University, who also sits on the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, expects decisions will be made later in the summer on whether to give jabs to children, after it becomes clearer what the impact of the vaccine roll-out has been and  whether it will be necessary to immunise children as well to keep the virus under control.

“The important aspect of that for children is that we desperately want to keep schools open into the next academic year and avoid any further disruption to education,” he explained, stressing he was speaking in a personal capacity.

“So, I think this would benefit children if it turns out to be necessary.

“But clearly, we don’t want to do this unless it is necessary because it would be an additional difficulty, cost and so on to do.”

READ  Time to stop masking the truth on protection

He explained that he would not be “comfortable” immunising children just for the benefit of others given that they are unlikely to suffer severe coronavirus disease.

“But if it does look as though it’s necessary that will be driven by the observation that the virus is still circulating and there is jeopardy for children in terms of disruption to their education,” he continued.

“So, I think that probably squares the circle if it does prove necessary.”

He added: “Of course, there are children who do get sick when they experience Covid, but very small numbers, both from the classic respiratory disease but also a few get this inflammatory syndrome.


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.