COVID-19 vaccinations for young children now expected to start later
SOUTHPORT, England (AP) — British families are expected to delay their children’s shots in the early 2020 school year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The U.K. government announced Monday the decision to delay vaccination in the early school year in two areas: Northern Ireland and London, where the government is advising parents of children under 10 to give up that right for now. The decision to delay vaccination in London will be reviewed annually from 2021. Vaccines are routinely given in British schools from September to May each year. British officials said the aim is to maintain high standards of protection for young children by protecting families from the risk. Last week, the U.K.’s chief medical officer warned that some children could contract serious health problems from unlicensed products such as creams and cosmetics that are sold online. It was the first time a health authority in the world had confirmed the health risks from unlicensed products. In Northern Ireland, parents and teachers are being warned to give up their right to opt for vaccinating children under 10 for now. The Catholic Church has previously said the rights of Catholics to opt out of vaccination were not under question — but this has now been suspended. Dr. Angela Radford, the health secretary for Northern Ireland, said as government and parents “we are taking the advice of our medical experts and have made the decision to delay the vaccination of children for now.” A new Department of Health leaflet has been issued to explain the process. The government said families should not worry if a decision is made to delay vaccinations for children under 10. Instead, it suggested families would be encouraged to give up that right.
This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.
Covid-19, like all viruses, works its way through an infectious agent called the coronavirus as it spreads across the human population.
The first case of Covid-19 in the U.K. was confirmed on March 11, with the first death reported at London’s Royal Free Hospital on March 18. The first person who tested positive in the U.K. was an Italian man living in Italy who traveled to the U.K. March 26, according to news reports.
The U.K. government announced April 6 that there were 1,827 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 24 deaths.