We’re now seeing the hard push in the run-up to vaxxing the kids.
The drive to vaccinate all adults over the age of 18 in the UK could lead to the concentration of Covid-19 cases in schoolchildren, a leading British virologist has warned.
Under-18s would then become reservoirs in which new variants of the virus could arise, said Julian Tang, of Leicester University.
Tang was speaking as Public Health England revealed a 79% rise in one week in cases of the Delta variant of Covid, first identified in India. A race is now on between the vaccination programme and the emergence of a third wave of the virus, say scientists.
Many believe there are grounds for cautious optimism that the vaccine will hold back hospitalisations and deaths in the wake of rising case numbers triggered by last month’s partial release of lockdown measures, as well as the arrival of the Delta variant.
However, Tang sounded a note of caution. Most recent data indicates that the main focus of infections was now in the under-30s who have not yet been extensively vaccinated, he said. “The predominance of the Delta variant over the previous Alpha variant now confirms an increased transmissibility over this earlier variant – and a much higher transmissibility over the original virus,” he added.
As the Covid-19 vaccination programme progressed into younger and younger age groups, this process would drive the virus into the under-18s, who are not yet scheduled to be vaccinated. “As a result, the virus will concentrate in school-age populations, which will eventually become a reservoir and driver of any ensuing Delta variant epidemic, as well as being a hotspot in which new mutations may arise,” Tang said.
Such developments would increase pressure on the government to give the go-ahead to Covid vaccination programmes for children and teenagers, although Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, said last week she understood the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation would not be recommending such a move in the short term.
If vaccines work, what’s the point of vaccinating kids?
If the unvaxxed can spread it to the vaxxed, then why can’t the infected vaxxed spread it to other vaxxed?
What then is even the point of the vaxx at all?