FILE PHOTO: A dose of AstraZeneca vaccine is prepared at COVID-19 vaccination centre in the Odeon Luxe Cinema in Maidstone, Britain February 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge/File Photo

RPS (Royal Pharmaceutical Society) has expressed its support for the government’s Covid-19 vaccination programme for under 16s that began today, and sought advice on further dosage.

Children in the age bracket of 12 and 15 years will be offered a single shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine following the government’s acceptance of the UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) recommendation.

The programme will cover around three million children in this age group.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will further advice on any second doses after analysing more data.

In its initial review, JCVI found there is low risk of serious Covid-19 disease or complications in this age group and the health benefits are marginally greater than the known harms.

RPS believes the proactive immunisation of healthy children aged between 12 years to 15 years will help to reduce the transmission of coronavirus, and will benefit the wider population.

It supported the CMOs’ stand to offer a single dose to the children and seconded that a lack of schooling increases inequalities, reduces the life chances of children and can exacerbate physical and mental health issues.

It noted that the impact of immunisation on reducing transmission of coronavirus in the wider population, including those who may be vulnerable to infection, should be considered.

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