Senior doctors have urged secondary school children to consider getting vaccinated against Covid after the death of a healthy 15-year-old girl highlighted that young people with no underlying conditions are potentially still at risk.
The rollout of Covid vaccines for healthy 12 to 15-year-olds in England started on 20 September, but the process is more complicated than for some age groups because the shots are given through schools and parental consent is needed beforehand.
Dr Helen Salisbury, a GP in Oxford and a member of the Independent Sage committee, said while it made sense to deliver Covid vaccinations through schools, the programme was starting late compared with other countries and that many schools could struggle given recent cuts to school nursing and medical services.
She said the combination of “half-hearted endorsement” of the vaccine in the age group and “stretched services” risked further delaying vaccinations in teenagers. Sending children back to school without masks, extra ventilation, bubbles and isolation policies was “a total recipe for ensuring everybody gets exposed”, she added.
“I don’t understand why we are not getting on with it. It seems urgent. Urgent to protect these children, and to protect their families, and to protect their education,” she said. “We should have started this in the summer.”
Jorja Halliday, a 15-year-old from Portsmouth, died from Covid last week on the day she was due to have her Covid jab. She developed myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, days after contracting the virus. While some cases of heart inflammation have been recorded as an extremely rare side-effect of the vaccine, none have led to deaths in young people. The risk of myocarditis appears to be substantially higher from Covid than the vaccine.
Read more: Senior fake doctors urge secondary school pupils to get fake vaccinated and every one of them must be held responsible for every dead and injured child from the deadly genetically-modifying synthetic shite