British experts today claimed that arguments to vaccinate children as early as five against Covid were’scientifically weak’ after the US moved closer toward jabbing infants. 

Yesterday’s agreement by an advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration, (FDA), was almost unanimous. It affirmed that the benefits of Pfizer’s under-12s jab outweighed the risks.

The plans are expected to be approved by the American health chiefs within days. This will increase pressure on the UK for a similar move.

British scientists warn that the jabs should not be recommended to primary school-aged children without considering the risks. 

MailOnline was told by Professor David Livermore at the University of East Anglia, a medical microbiologist. He said: ‘Vaccinating kids to protect adults via their herd immunity is ethically questionable and scientifically weak.

Myocarditis is still a concern. This is a form of inflammation of the heart that can be detected in children, mostly in boys, and can be found in approximately one in 10,000 cases following vaccination.

Critics claim that children are better off getting protection from the natural world and catching Covid than getting admitted to ICU.

There are signs that the epidemic is being slowed by natural immunity in British children. However, some studies have shown that myocarditis is more common in people with Covid infection than it is in those without it. This complicates the situation.  

Professor Russell Viner, a pediatrician who is also a member of the UK Government’s scientific advisory group SAGE, stated that it was vital that the UK doesn’t ‘rush to make a decision’ after the US announcement. 

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia (UEA), told MailOnline the risk of serious illness from Covid in five- to 12-year-olds is even lower than in 12-t-15-year-olds, who are currently eligible for a Pfizer vaccine in the UK

And Professor David Livermore, a medical microbiologist at UEA, told MailOnline arguments to extend the rollout further to achieve herd immunity are also 'scientifically weak'

MailOnline was informed by Professor Paul Hunter (left), an infectious diseases expert at the University of East Anglia. He said that the risk of serious illness due to Covid is lower in five- and 12-year-olds than in 12-t-15 year-olds who are currently eligible for a Pfizer vaccination in the UK. Professor David Livermore (right), a medical-microbiologist at UEA says that arguments to extend the rollout to achieve herd immunity are also scientifically weak’

The Pfizer vaccine is 91 per cent effective in children aged five to 11 for the first four months after it is administered, according to Pfizer's trial

According to Pfizer’s trial, the Pfizer vaccine is 91% effective in children between five and eleven years old for the first four month after it is administered.

The FDA panel used data to justify its decision. It showed that up to 180 children would likely suffer from myocarditis in the event of rollout.

However, it is unlikely that the side effect will cause any deaths. 

The rollout would prevent over 200 hospitalisations, and a few deaths in a six-month span.

It was able to stop tens or thousands of infections simultaneously, according to data.

Seventeen of the 18 advisers ruled that the risks outweighed the benefits, while one member remained silent.    

UK’s Covid cases could be shrinking due to immunity developed by children in the back-to school wave, SAGE adviser claims 

Britain’s Covid cases are already declining, according to one of the Government’s top scientific advisors. 

Professor John Edmunds is an epidemiologist who serves on SAGE. He said that the sudden increase in infections over the past few months was due to ‘huge number of cases’ in children. 

According to health officials, the virus was infecting as many as 1 in 12 children in England last week.

Professor Edmunds stated that an increase in infections would eventually lead to children having high levels of immunity. This will result in cases plateauing and then falling. 

He said that it could be that we are achieving that now. 

Professor Edmunds was the inspiration for the unusually optimistic London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine model. He is well-known for his pro-lockdown views during the pandemic. 

It was discovered that cases could fall quickly starting next month.

His comments were made despite growing calls to increase vaccine uptake among students after a surge in outbreaks within classrooms. 

Teachers unions expressed frustration at the slow pace of the programme that has seen only 20% of children between 12 and 15 vaccinated. 

To obtain emergency use authorization, the plans must now be approved by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If the move is approved, it will make Pfizer’s vaccine the first Covid vaccine available for children in that age group.

The panel’s data was based upon Pfizer Phase 3 clinical trial that involved 2,268 five- to eleven-year-olds, which ran from March through September. 

Although most cases of myocarditis following the Covid jab are manageable and treatable, UK Government scientists advise that it is not known if the inflammation will have long-term consequences. 

This was one reason why the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation(JCVI) didn’t recommend the jabs to 12-15 year-olds, despite the jab having been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

After other health officials deemed that they could prevent disruptions to schools, the UK decided not to proceed with these plans. 

Professor Paul Hunter, a University of East Anglia (UEA) infectious disease expert, said that it was unlikely the JCVI would recommend the jabs to children under 12. 

Pfizer’s vaccine has not been approved by the MHRA yet for anyone younger than 12.  

MailOnline was informed by Professor Hunter that the JCVI concluded that vaccinations for 12- to 15-year olds were not beneficial. I believe they were right. 

“I consider them to be the most knowledgeable group to make such an assessment. 

‘Given the severity of infection in children under 12 years old is lower than in those aged 12- to 15, the evidence for vaccinating younger children is less. 

“We don’t yet know the probability of rare side effects such myocarditis among this age group, so the potential risks could also be higher.”

He added that a significant proportion of children in this age group may have already been infected.

“So, the additional benefits to the child from immunisation in the group are likely to be less than in a similar age group that has not had many infections. 

“So, I suspect that the JCVI would not recommend immunization of younger children and I believe they would be right.    

Professor David Livermore, a medical-microbiologist at UEA said there is little medical benefit to jabbing the age group since most will already be protected against natural infection. 

MailOnline was informed by him that there are less medical reasons for vaccinations of healthy 5- to 11-year olds than healthy 12- to 15-year-olds. They are at low risk of serious disease.

‘Vaccinating children to protect adults via herd immunity is ethically dubious and is scientifically weak — firstly because the vaccines only confer transient protection, not the lifelong immunity needed to drive solid herd immunity. 

Pfizer set up six projections to determine the risk-reward outcomes of vaccinating children to prevent Covid cases, while also exposing them to the small likelihood of suffering heart inflammation. Scenario 1: Vaccine is 70 per cent effective against infection and 80 per cent effective against hospitalizations, only males between five to 11, who are most at risk for Covid, assuming the virus situation as of September 11 holds

Pfizer has created six projections to evaluate the risk-reward implications of vaccinating children in order to prevent Covid. They also consider the possibility of experiencing heart inflammation. Scenario 1 – Vaccine is 70% effective against infection, and 88% against hospitalizations. It is only males aged five to 11 who are most at high risk for Covid. Assuming the virus situation has not changed since September 11,

Scenario 2: Same effectiveness as scenario one, though cases increase by 20 per cent, and hospitalizations by 30 per cent

Scenario 2 – Same effectiveness as scenario 1, but cases rise by 20% and hospitalizations by 30%.

Scenario 3: Covid cases decrease 95 per cent and hospitalizations decrease 90 per cent

Scenario 3: Hospitalizations and covid cases drop 95% and 95% respectively

Scenario 4: Vaccine is 90 per cent effective against cases and 100 per cent effective against hospitalizations

Scenario 4 – Vaccine is 90% effective against cases and 100% against hospitalizations

Scenario 5: Using the current death rate listed on the CDC tracker

Scenario 5 – Use the current death rate as shown on the CDC tracker

Scenario 6: Risk of myocarditis is halved by 50 per cent

Scenario 6

‘And, secondly, because very, very large numbers of children and adolescents have been infected already, progressively decreasing the groups’ contribution to viral circulation.’

According to official data, 95% of 16-24-year-olds now have Covid antibodies.

According to official data, Covid antibodies are present in more than 95% percent of 16-to-24-year-olds in England.

Office for National Statistics figures released today show 92.2 per cent of the adult population tested positive for the virus-fighting proteins in the week ending October 3.

Despite less than half of those aged 16 to 24 having had both Covid vaccines, 95.6 per cent of people in the age group are estimated to have the antibodies — suggesting natural infection has helped build their immunity. 

This proportion was even higher for Northern Ireland (95.8%) and about the same in Wales and Scotland (95.4%). 

The ONS stated that: “Our survey indicates that in the week commencing September 27, the percentage adults testing positive for coronavirus antibody remained high. 

“It has increased among younger adults and is showing signs a slow decline among older adults. 

“We estimate that antibody positivity for people aged 16-24 years has increased steadily across all four UK nations, with estimates ranging from 95.4 to 95.8 percentage across the UK, for week beginning September 27, 2009. 

Antibody levels seem to be declining in the over-60s despite the fact that at least 98% of those age groups have had both jabs.

They were lowest among 70- to74-year olds (86%), and 75-to 79-yearolds (86.7%).

But people aged 80 and above had the highest antibody levels (89.3 per cent) — even though they were the first to receive their second vaccine dose. 

The UK began to distribute third booster doses in September 16th, two weeks before the ONS’s latest tests. This suggests that antibody levels may have increased as a result of the programme.

The ONS — which analyses tens of thousands of blood samples every fortnight — doesn’t break down whether antibodies came from jabs or infection.

They are generally a sign that a person is at least protected from the disease and won’t become ill. 

However, being positive for a test does not make you immune to all possible illnesses. 

A positive test result indicates that the body had at least one of these substances at the time of testing.

Scientists say levels dip naturally over time and people may not have any detectable antibodies now — even if they did so last year. 

People who test negative for the virus may still be protected by it because other parts of their immune system are geared up to fight invaders like T cells.    

Professor Viner said, “It’s important not to confuse making a vaccine for small groups children aged five to eleven who are highly vulnerable and Covid with vaccinating all children otherwise healthy. 

‘It’s also important to remember that licensing a vaccine merely makes it available for use in this age group — and that decisions about who and when to vaccinate are entirely separate.

“I believe it is important that children aged 5-11 who are extremely vulnerable to Covid get vaccinations as teens and adults. This is a good step in the right direction.

“But very few children at this age are actually highly susceptible to Covid. 

‘The data from the UK’s first pandemic year showed that Covid caused extremely few deaths and serious illnesses in this age group, with almost all of these in small groups of children who are at higher risk due to other medical conditions.’ 

Up to February 2021, there were 259 Covid admissions at ICU for children under 18 in England. 22 of those admitted had no underlying medical problems.

Sixteen of the 25 children who died from this virus at the same time didn’t appear to have comorbidities. 

Professor Viner stated that while every death of a child in this world is unacceptable, we need to carefully weigh the benefits and risks of immunizing younger children. We must not rush to make a decision nor follow the lead of other nations. 

“As for younger adolescents, the balance of risk and benefits for vaccinating well-fed children is likely complex and will involve a variety of ethical and social issues. 

“Risk balances in the UK will be different than those in the US, because we have more complete data and a health care system that protects vulnerable people.

Tory MPs and parents were furious at the decision to vaccinate all children over 12 years old. They feared that their children would get a vaccine against them.

If they are competent enough, children can override the wishes of their parents about vaccines. However, it is not a common occurrence according to Nadhim Zahawi, former vaccine minister.  

There are increasing calls to increase vaccine uptake among teenagers following a spike in outbreaks in classrooms. 

Teachers unions expressed their frustration with the slow pace of vaccinations, which has only 20 percent of the age group covered so far.   

The US FDA advisory panel yesterday voted unanimously, with one abstention, that the vaccine’s benefits in preventing Covid in five- to 12-year-olds outweigh any potential risks.

These questions include questions about a side effect that may cause heart problems in teenagers and young adults, despite the fact that they received a much higher dose of vaccine.

While children are far less likely than older people to get severe Covid, the panelists argued it is important to give parents the choice to protect their youngsters — especially those at high risk of illness or who live in places where other precautions, like masks in schools, are not being used.

Dr Amanda Cohn, a panel member at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stated that “This age group deserves and should be given the same opportunity to get vaccinated”

The FDA is not bound by the panel’s recommendation and is expected to make its own decision within days.

If the FDA is in agreement, there’s still one step. Next week, the CDC must decide whether or not to recommend the jabs for which children.

Graph shows: The proportion of people in different age groups who tested positive for Covid antibodies (green line), have had a first vaccine dose (light blue line) and second vaccine dose (dark blue line) from the weeks beginning December 7 to September 27

Graph: This graph shows the proportion of people in different age categories who tested positive to Covid antibodies (green), and have had a second vaccine dose (darkblue line) or a first vaccine (lightblue line) during the weeks from December 7 through September 27.

The jab for children five to 11 years old will be ten milligrams. This is one-third of the adult dose of 30 milligrams.

Pfizer stated that the optimal dose to elicit strong immune responses and a safe profile was 10ug.

It will be the same as the doses given to adults in the US. The doses will be two-shot, with the doses being at least three weeks apart.

Pfizer and BioNTech are both highly recommended for anyone over 12 years old.

The extra-contagious delta variant of the virus has caused a significant rise in paediatric infection. Families are frustrated with school quarantines, having to say no at sleepovers and other childhood rites to keep the virus at bay.

There have been more than 8,300 hospitalisations in the five-to-11 years, with nearly 100 deaths and one third needing intensive care.

States are getting ready to roll out the jabs — just a third of the amount given to teens and adults — that will come in special orange-capped vials to avoid dosage mix-ups.

Pfizer has created six projections that will help determine the risk-reward outcome of vaccinations for children. This is to prevent Covid cases and also to expose them to the small chance of developing heart inflammation. 

The model revealed that the vaccine could potentially save thousands of Covid patients, hundreds of hospitalisations, as well as a small number of deaths.

The projects also suggested that the vaccine could cause dozens of cases of myocarditis.