Dr Penny Toff, chair of the BMA public health medicine committee, said: “We welcome the new guidance from the JCVI on vaccinating children aged 5-11 and encourage families to take up this offer once further details are available.
“After two years, Covid-19 is still causing significant short and longer-term illness, hospitalisation and deaths and huge disruption to healthcare, the economy and education.
“Fortunately, young children are generally at lower risk of serious illness from Covid-19 but vaccinating as many people as possible, including children and young people - along with other protective measures such as mask wearing and isolation when infected - will reduce the spread of infection, meaning fewer absences from educational settings and workplaces and bringing us closer to 'living with Covid' sustainably.
“We would ask people not to contact their GPs just yet while we wait for further details, from NHS England, on how these vaccines will be given to children and meanwhile we encourage adults to get their boosters and older children and teenagers to take the opportunity of half-term to get their first or second doses.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.