COVID-19 vaccinations for young children now expected to start later this week
A total of 100,000 children to be vaccinated against coronavirus with free catch-up boosters
Babies’ immunisations against coronavirus should start late this week to prevent a surge of COVID-19 cases among the youngest children, senior health officials and the British Medical Association have said.
The government, however, will not be able to guarantee all children will be immunised unless they turn up for school or other appointments, the BMA said in a joint statement.
The move comes as the government announced the start of a campaign to encourage people to get their children immunised against the virus, which has wreaked havoc with school life across the country.
This will help to protect children who cannot attend school or who are too young for the current vaccine schedule, the officials said.
The campaign has been backed by the government and, alongside the World Health Organisation, is being led by chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.
‘We’ve had a lot of experience over the last few weeks of how difficult it has been to get everyone vaccinated against these types of diseases,’ Dr Graham MacGregor, president of the BMA, said.
‘As we’ve seen over recent days, there are children who are still unable to attend school, or who are too young to have been immunised at school, and children who aren’t vaccinated, have not been immunised at all,’ he added.
‘If we can reach out to as many of these children as possible, we hope many of them will be protected.’
Dr MacGregor had previously urged people not to delay or miss out on routine vaccinations, stressing that they could help to minimise the risk of coronavirus spreading in schools.
‘We now have evidence that this could be having a negative impact on the health of some pupils