CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story identified the termination of the vaccine for young children as a “ban.” Since it is still possible in rare cases for children to be vaccinated in the United Kingdom, we have updated the story accordingly.
The UK is no longer offering the COVID-19 vaccine to children under 12, saying kids don’t need it and they likely already have natural immunity.
“The immediate benefits of vaccination in this age group are likely to be small because children are at low risk from COVID-19 infection, and by February 2022 almost all children in this age group will already have been infected with COVID-19,” a September 4 government statement reads.
The statement also said infection from the Omicron variant is particularly mild and that immunity conferred by the leaky vaccines is short-lived. Kids will only be offered a COVID vaccine if they’re in a high-risk group.
The September update gave no leeway for parents to get their little ones jabbed before the window closed. Doctors can no longer inoculate kids with a back-dated deadline of August 31.
The policy marks a continued trend of health authorities taking a more cautionary approach to injecting children with the emergency-use approved vaccines.
Other European countries, such as Denmark, have also ended the COVID vaccine for youth under 18.
In Canada, health authorities continue to encourage parents to vaccinate their babies and kids, even while the former Chair of National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) admitted last month that COVID is less deadly to kids than the flu.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he might impose more COVID restrictions this winter unless 80-90% of the population gets “up-to-date” vaccinations.
To be fully vaccinated in Canada previously meant having two doses of a Health Canada-approved vaccine. The Canadian federal government is now applying pressure for citizens to get regular COVID-19 boosters.
In September, NACI announced that Canadians might consider getting a vaccine every 90 days.
“A shorter interval of at least three months may be warranted in the context of heightened epidemiological risk as well as operational considerations for the efficient deployment of the COVID-19 vaccination program,” a summary of a National Advisory Committee on Immunization statement said on Sept. 1.