Why COVID vaccines for young children (5–11 years) are not essential at this moment in time?

Hamid Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in UK has recently advised that COVID vaccines in 5–11-year-old children is non-essential. This has created an outrage among some healthcare professionals who believed a mandatory vaccination program for all ages would be more beneficial. The JCVI decision sounds strange to many public health professionals in light of the existing practices with regards to other children’s vaccines, for instance flu jabs. The child immunisation should help reduce suffering in children, prevent virus spread in communities, reduce school off days, prevent the loss of quality of life in children and the sufferings from a preventable infection. Therefore, why not support essential COVID vaccines for young children like we do for the flu? This article explains the underlying mechanisms of currently deployed COVID vaccines, the cellular, humoral and mucosal immunity. The article explains why we should not rush mass-immunising young children and a delayed immunisation can be beneficial in offering a more suitable vaccine formulation for children, such as the nasal COVID vaccine, that is going to be available soon and will provide the sought-after protection against infection and transmission, the public health benefit from the mass immunisation program in children.
Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2022


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