Should children get Covid vaccine? Parents give verdict

Child with Covid vaccine

Norfolk parents were split over whether children should be Covid vaccinated. - Credit: PA

A slight majority of Norfolk parents say they would give their children a Covid vaccine if it was available, a survey has found.

But a large number of parents of school-age children who took part in an EDP/Norwich Evening News poll were opposed, with some submitting comments expressing significant reservations.

UK regulators approved the use of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds at the start of June, but a final decision is pending expert advice to the government later this summer.

Of the almost 400 parents who took part in our poll, 47pc said they would definitely allow their children to be vaccinated should go-ahead be approved. 

A further 10pc said they were currently unsure, but would probably agree to vaccinate their child.

However 38pc said they definitely would not favour vaccination with another 5pc saying they probably would not.  

The survey sparked sharp divisions of opinion. Many parents on the EDP Facebook page pointed out that child vaccinations were routine, including for measles, mumps, polio, diphtheria, meningitis and whooping cough.

Rebecca Dabb said: “My kids have had all the vaccinations available to them since birth, including the cervical cancer one for both my girls. So if this is added to the list, then, yes, they would probably have it.”

Pupils wear protective face masks on the first day back to school

UK regulators approved the use of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds in June, but a final decision is still pending. - Credit: PA

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Laura Atterwell said: “I have a son who is under 16 and is at higher risk of serious illness if he were to be infected, but we currently do not have the choice for him to be vaccinated.

“For me it's very important. He has a yearly flu jab due to health issues, was shielding but can't be protected with the vaccine.”

School pupils Covid testing

Secondary school pupils could see more Covid testing as bubbles are scrapped, but a decision on vaccination for ages 12-15 is still to be made. - Credit: PA

The most common reasons given by parents firmly against vaccination was a perceived lack of research.

Kati Kertész said: “I was happy to have a vaccination myself but I would not be so confident to have it given to my children, who are five and 10. Who knows what effect it is going to have on them?”

Tina Talbot added: “No child should be used as a guinea pig. If the adult chooses to, that's their choice but should never be forced upon a child without them fully understanding the consequences.”

The debate over vaccinating children comes amid concern at the growing number of cases affecting school attendance.

Some other countries, including the US, are already immunising children between 12 and 15.

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