Contact launches campaign to get high-risk children aged 5-11 access to Covid vaccine
2 mins read
Wednesday 15 December 2021
Contact is calling for urgent news from the medicines watchdog on plans to authorise the Covid vaccine to high-risk children aged 5-11 years olds. We are also urging the government committee on vaccines to make a speedy decision and issue guidance as soon as authorisation is granted.
There are 19,000 clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) children under 12 in the UK who were told to shield at the beginning of the pandemic. That’s thousands of 5-11-year-old high-risk children who could have access to a Covid vaccine if they lived in another country.
Families feel ignored and back of queue
Contact is supporting families who are still shielding their child — 21 months after the pandemic began — and others whose children have been in and out of school depending on case rates locally. Many are desperate for access to the Covid vaccine for their child. They feel completely ignored and at the back of the queue following the latest booster programme announcement.
Una Summerson, Head of Policy at Contact, said: “This is not about the mass roll-out of the vaccine to 5-11-year-olds, it’s about allowing those at high risk of serious illness from Covid to be given urgent access. Countries including the US, Canada, Israel and many parts of Europe have started vaccinating 5-11-year-olds. Families of high-risk children in this country are asking why they are being denied access. It is an utter failure to consider the rights of some of the most vulnerable children in our society.”
Contact has written to MHRA, the medicines regulator, who responded to say they sympathise with the families’ situations but couldn’t give us a timeline of approval. We have also written to the JCVI about off-label guidance, but the UK Health Security Agency replied on their behalf not addressing our calls to make Covid vaccines available off label to this age group.