Should children get the vaccine?

In recent weeks, Covid vaccinations have started to roll out for under-16s. However, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding people asking whether children should be eligible for it. Some people say they shouldn’t be offered it, whereas others are saying they should.

When they are young, children are given vaccines to protect them from diseases which have the potential to kill them. However, since the introduction of the legal requirement to wear face coverings, children under eleven have been exempt. This suggests children under eleven, which consist of those going to school and mixing with peers and staff, are immune to the virus. But they aren’t. Like other potentially deadly diseases, children can contract Covid the same way an adult can. They can also be asymptomatic and pass the virus onto their guardians or authoritative figures.

The truth is children are just as vulnerable as the elderly and anyone with an underlying health condition. This is because their immune system has yet to fully develop like an adults has, and the younger the child is, the more likely they are to contract a potentially life-threatening disease if they haven’t been vaccinated.

Since the introduction of the vaccine, those who have not received it have been much more likely to die from Covid, as well as those with only one dose. Therefore, those with underlying health conditions and those who do not have full protection i.e., being double-vaccinated, which now include children are at such risk. For those who are double vaccinated, the coronavirus can simply just be another variant of the flu, because they have the antibodies already in place to try to fight this virus.

For adults, they need to have the vaccine in order to do the things they enjoy, such as going abroad and going to mass gatherings, like live concerts, nightclubs and football matches. According to the UK’s vaccine advisory body, healthy 12-15-year-olds shouldn’t be given the vaccine. This will lead people to think “if healthy children don’t need the vaccine, then neither do I because I’m healthy”.

It almost becomes one rule for adults and another rule for children, even though it’s been a legal requirement for children over the age of eleven to wear face coverings ,unless exempt, since July 2020.

Covid isn’t an adult-only virus, therefore the vaccine shouldn’t be treated as an adult-only vaccine. Children aren’t automatically immune from the virus, therefore, the Government should allow children to receive the vaccine. Eventually, I think the Government should consider adding the Covid vaccine to the shots babies receive, and children should have a booster jab when they are older, in line with the Meningitis ACWY booster.

In the past, the coronavirus has been passed on to children and, due to them not having the antibodies to fight it off, the virus has claimed their lives. No parent wants to bury their child, let alone their child who had Covid.

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Max Wrigley

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October 2021
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