According to UK health chiefs, children between the ages of 12 and 15 should be offered the coronavirus vaccine.
All four UK Chief Medical Offers (CMOs) said children should be offered the vaccine after the benefits were determined to outweigh the risks.
However, they pointed out that research found the vaccine had “marginal benefits” at a young age.
But while the vaccine’s benefits are not as clear as they are in the elderly, health chiefs said the vaccinations still brought benefits to patients.
Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Gregor Smith said parents and children need to understand that while the benefit is “minor” it is still better to get the vaccine.
“The informed consent is really important in this context, especially if there is … a minor benefit,” said Dr. Smith, a general practitioner.
“We shouldn’t confuse this marginal utility with no utility, that is the first really important point.”
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization and UK senior physicians had found that “there is both direct and indirect benefit in being vaccinated over the unvaccinated”.
Children are not forced to receive the vaccine, they have a choice.
Professor Chris Whitty, England’s CMO, warned that those who chose not to get the vaccine should not be “stagmatized” for their decision.
Dr. Smith said it was important to use “straightforward language” to convey the benefits of vaccination “very child-friendly”.