Beverley Turner and Owen Jones clash over covid vaccine
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The increase in reported cases across Europe has been used by politicians to renew their push for mass vaccination. It has also reawakened debate about the jabbing of healthy children against the virus.
But the French Academy of Medicine (FAM) insists the country’s vaccine roll-out should not extend to all healthy children.
It has advised that, for many children, the risk-benefit balance weighs against vaccination.
The 200-year-old advisory body, quoted in 20 Minutes, said in a statement that it “recommends extending immunisation against Covid by the vaccine to children at risk of severe forms of the disease due to co-morbidities, whatever their age, as well as to other children living in their family and school environment”.
It does not believe that healthy children outside of this bracket should be vaccinated against Covid.
Responding to the FAM’s statement, Daily Sceptic Editor Toby Young told Express.co.uk: “It’s becoming increasingly clear that for healthy children the risk of being vaccinated outweighs the benefit.”
He added: “Governments need to stop putting pressure on children to be vaccinated.”
Pressure is building on European citizens, including some healthy children, to get vaccinated against Covid amid warnings of a deadly fifth Covid wave.
Those who have not received Covid vaccines have been locked down in Austria – and Germany is set to follow.
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Earlier this week, French Health Minister Olivier Véran told 20 Minutes the country could start vaccinating healthy five to 11-year-olds early next year.
He said: “The US and Israel have started vaccinating five to 11-year-olds, which will give us information on how it works in real life.
“The studies used by the US Drug Administration show that the vaccine in children is effective and safe.
“In the coming weeks, we expect the European Medicines Agency’s transparent, objective and exhaustive instruction. It will then be up to the French scientific authorities, probably by early 2022.”
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Government spokesman Gabriel Attal, talking on LCI on Thursday, added that no official decision will be taken before February 2022.
He said: “It is a decision that is far from trivial, it is normal that we take time and that the health authorities take time to examine this subject.”
The FAM concedes that “children living in the environment of vulnerable adults, in particular immunocompromised people and people with chronic diseases” should be brought forward for Covid vaccines.
The vaccination of healthy children against Covid has long been a controversial issue, including in Britain where vaccine take-up among adults has been very strong.
In September, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised that the Government took the “precautionary approach” of not vaccinating healthy children aged 12-15 because the benefits of vaccination were not greater enough than the risks.
Soon after, England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, told the Government to ignore this advice, arguing that this age group should be vaccinated because of the benefits to their mental health.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.
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