WATCH: Desperate families of high-risk children urge Covid vaccine approval on Channel 4

2 mins read

Friday 17 December 2021

Tags: covid, vaccination, Covid-19

Two of the families who are supporting Contact’s Covid vaccine campaign for high-risk children under 12 shared their heart-breaking stories with Channel 4 News reporter Anja Popp last night alongside our CEO Amanda Batten.

You’ll hear from 9-year-olds Hayden, whose lung disease makes him so vulnerable to Covid that just the thought of being in the busy school canteen frightens him; and about Caleb, whose entire family have no choice but to keep shielding for his protection. Watch below:

In many other countries they would have already been vaccinated by now. But in the UK, they are two of the 19,000 clinically extremely vulnerable children under 12 whose lives have been on hold since they were told to shield last year. A vaccine is their only hope to regain some form of normality. 

‘We feel discriminated against’

Caleb’s grandmother, Dorothy, said: “We feel very jealous of people in the US, because they have already vaccinated about five million 5-11-year-olds. We feel as if we’re being discriminated against, to be honest. I know that’s a very strong word, but that’s how it makes us feel.

“I have three other grandchildren and I find it quite hard not seeing them. But we don’t really have a choice because we have to protect Caleb. We’re absolutely desperate for him to be vaccinated.” 

Hayden’s mum Crystal, meanwhile, feels angry watching press conferences about boosters for healthy adults. She said: “I’m just sat there thinking: why isn’t my child being given the chance to protect himself? Why is this taking so long? And why is there no recognition of the harm that this is causing?”

Contact believes that the UK’s delays in approving a vaccine for some of the most vulnerable children in our society is unacceptable, so we have launched a petition calling on the medicines regulator and the vaccine committee to give high-risk 5-11-year-olds urgent access to the jab.

Please join 1,000 others in signing and sharing our petition today.