Vaccinating children ‘not a excessive precedence’ amid scarcity: WHO

GENEVA  – The World Well being Group’s high vaccines knowledgeable mentioned Thursday that immunizing kids towards COVID-19 isn’t a excessive precedence from a WHO perspective, given the extraordinarily restricted world provide of doses.

Throughout a social media session, Dr. Kate O’Brien mentioned kids shouldn’t be a spotlight of COVID-19 immunization packages at the same time as rising numbers of wealthy international locations authorize their coronavirus photographs for youngsters and kids.

“Youngsters are at (a) very, very low danger of truly getting COVID illness,” mentioned O’Brien, a pediatrician and director of the WHO’s vaccines division. She mentioned that the rationale for immunizing kids was to cease transmission slightly than to guard them from getting sick or dying.

“After we’re on this actually troublesome place, as we’re proper now, the place the availability of vaccine is inadequate for everyone all over the world, immunizing children isn’t a excessive precedence proper now.”

O’Brien mentioned it was essential to make sure well being staff and the aged, or these with underlying circumstances, had been inoculated forward of youngsters and kids.

Canada, the U.S. and the European Union have all just lately given the inexperienced mild to some COVID-19 vaccines for youngsters aged 12 to fifteen as they method their vaccination targets for adults.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged wealthy international locations to donate photographs to poor international locations slightly than immunize their adolescents and kids. Fewer than 1% of COVID-19 vaccines administered globally have been utilized in poor international locations.

O’Brien mentioned it may be acceptable to immunize kids towards the coronavirus “in the end, when the availability will increase far more considerably.” She added that it wasn’t essential to vaccinate kids earlier than sending them again to highschool, so long as the adults involved with them had been immunized.

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“Immunization of youngsters with a view to ship them again to highschool isn’t the predominant requirement for them to return to highschool safely,” she mentioned. “They will return to highschool safely if what we’re doing is immunizing those that are round them who’re in danger.”