GENEVA — Given the highly limited worldwide supply of doses, the World Health Organization’s top vaccinations specialist stated Thursday that immunizing children against COVID-19 is not a high priority for the WHO.
Dr. Kate O’Brien argued during a social media session that children should not be the focus of COVID-19 immunization campaigns, despite the fact that a growing number of wealthy nations have approved coronavirus vaccines for teens and children.
“Children have a very, very low chance of contracting COVID disease,” said O’Brien, a doctor and the WHO’s vaccinations section chief. She said that the goal of immunizing youngsters was to prevent disease rather than to protect them from death.
“When we are in such a terrible situation, as we are right now, when vaccine supplies are insufficient for everyone throughout the world, immunizing children is not a top priority.”
As they reach their adult immunization goal, Canada, the United States, and the European Union have all recently approved certain COVID-19 vaccinations for youngsters aged 12 to 15.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, has urged affluent countries to give vaccines to impoverished nations rather than immunize their own adolescents and children. In impoverished nations, less than 1% of COVID-19 vaccinations have been provided globally.
“In due course, when the supply grows much more substantially,” O’Brien added, it could be reasonable to immunize youngsters against the coronavirus. She went on to say that youngsters didn’t need to be vaccinated before returning to school as long as the people who came into touch with them were.
“Immunization of children to send them back to school is not the most important criterion for them to return to school safely,” she explained. “They can return to school securely if we focus on immunizing those who are in danger in their environment.”