Immunising Kids Not A Priority, Says WHO COVID-19 Expert

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WHO Covid-19 experts said in a statement that immunising kids should not be a priority for now since they are at very low risk of getting infected by the virus. The expert stressed on immunising other groups instead due to the shortage of doses.

WHO Covid-19 expert Dr Kate O’Brien addressed the issue of immunising kids in a social media session saying that vaccinating children should not be a priority as of now since they are less likely to be infected by coronavirus, Associated Press reported.

“Children are at (a) very, very low risk of actually getting COVID disease.” Dr O’Brien stated.

She gave emphasis on vaccinating the other age groups first due to the shortage of vaccine doses. It is important to cater for the elderly, health workers and those who are more prone to the disease before coming to the children.

“When we’re in this really difficult place, as we are right now, where the supply of vaccine is insufficient for everybody around the world, immunising kids is not a high priority right now,”she added further.

The paediatrician and director of the vaccines department of WHO threw light on the fact that the objective of immunising kids would be to reduce or stop the transmission of the disease rather than to protect them from getting seriously ill or dying so their vaccination is not a priority as of now.

“Immunisation of children in order to send them back to school is not the predominant requirement for them to go back to school safely. They can go back to school safely if what we’re doing is immunising those who are around them who are at risk.” She said adding that immunisation of kids could take place substantially when there is an adequate supply of the doses.

Many countries including the US, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Israel, Dubai and several European countries have given green signal to the vaccination of teenagers and adolescents mostly aged 12-15 years.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has asked rich countries to help poor countries with the vaccine shortages rather than immunising their teenagers and adolescents.