To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of whether clinically extremely vulnerable children under 16 should be able to access covid-19 vaccines; and how many clinically extremely vulnerable children are still shielding because they do not have access to that vaccine.
7 June 2021
Children under 16 years of age, even if they are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), are at low risk of serious morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. There is also a lack of safety and efficacy data for COVID-19 vaccines in children. Most children under the age of 16, including those who are CEV, are therefore not recommended for routine vaccination.
Given the very high risk of exposure to infection and outbreaks in residential settings, vaccination may be appropriate for those with severe neuro-disabilities who require frequent care in these settings. This option should be discussed between parents or guardians and the child’s clinician.
As of 1 April, due to low prevalence, shielding advice has been paused for all clinically extremely vulnerable people, including children and young people. All CEV pupils should attend their school unless they are one of the very small number of pupils under paediatric or other specialist care and have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend. Pupils who live with someone who is CEV should continue to attend school as normal.
More information on children and COVID-19 vaccination can be found at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/984310/Greenbook_chapter_14a_7May2021.pdf
Current guidance to individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable, including children, can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19