Stephen Griffin Britain city Manchester death vaccine Health old FIVE Stephen Griffin Britain city Manchester

My five-year-old is now eligible for a Covid vaccine – an expert's view on what you should do

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Stephen Griffin is an Associate Professor of Viral Oncology at the University of Leeds. Here, he shares his perspective on the announcement that the Covid-19 vaccine has been recommended for children ages five to 11 - including how seeing his young son suffer in hospital with meningitis affected him. Since 2020, we’ve heard that Covid is mainly a problem for the elderly or vulnerable.

Vaccines have dramatically improved their protection against the disease, but children and younger people – because it’s perceived that Covid poses little risk to them – have remained at the bottom of the list when it comes to immunisations.

Covid vaccines are only now becoming available for under-12s in the UK. The health secretary has deemed vaccinating five to 11-year-olds “ non-urgent ”, which I think is wrong, as I have argued previously.

Like many parents, I have witnessed a tidal wave of Covid in our schools in recent months, as the government has prioritised school attendance while removing most measures to contain the virus.

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