Covid vaccine for children: Will kids get a Covid-19 immunisation?

24 March 2021, 10:37

Covid vaccine trials with children have begun in the UK
Covid vaccine trials with children have begun in the UK. Picture: Getty

By Zoe Adams

Children under the age of 18 could be getting the Covid-19 vaccine as early as August should all trials be a success. Here’s the latest on the jab and children in the UK.

The coronavirus vaccine rollout in the UK has been hailed a success so far, but as the Covid jab priority groups are given their doses, researchers are also looking into giving children and kids the Covid-19 vaccine in the future.

As it stands, only those aged 18 and over are entitled to get the immunisation from any of the approved vaccine companies including Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca, but experts are carrying out new trials to see how impactful they might be for those under that age bracket.

According to latest reports, children in the UK could get the Covid vaccine as early as August should the trials all go to plan in order to give the country maximum immunity against the virus.

Related article: What are the approved coronavirus vaccines in the UK?

Related article: Covid vaccine calculator tells you when to expect your vaccine

So will children get a Covid-19 vaccine? And when will children get the immunisation? What research is being carried out? Here’s the latest on the trials:

Covid vaccine trials will monitor around 300 children aged between six and 17
Covid vaccine trials will monitor around 300 children aged between six and 17. Picture: PA

Will children get a Covid-19 vaccine?

At present, anyone aged 18 and under is not entitled to a coronavirus vaccine.

There isn’t enough evidence on the jab and the results on children and it’s thought as they’re less impacted by the virus, they were less of a priority.

However, pharmaceutical company Oxford-AstraZeneca have begun vaccine trials with children and the vaccine in hope they can also get the immunisation.

Results are expected to be presented to ministers around June/July which will impact the decision on whether children will get the Covid jab.

UK residents under 18 are not entitled to Covid-19 vaccinations at present
UK residents under 18 are not entitled to Covid-19 vaccinations at present. Picture: PA

Covid-19 vaccine and children: What research is being carried out?

A new trial was confirmed earlier this year to test how well the Oxford jab works in children.

Around 300 volunteers will have the first dose with researchers evaluating their immune response to the vaccination.

The trial will be using children aged six to 17 and volunteers who live near the four study sites such as the University of Oxford are being asked to step forward.

Experts have said that while children are relatively unaffected by the virus, it’s important to establish these findings for those who are more vulnerable or could benefit from the jab.