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Robert Halfon MP to question leading medical officers on Covid vaccination for children and the need for parental consent

News / Mon 20th Sep 2021 am30 08:35am

ENGLAND’S Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jon Van-Tam, are to face questions from the Education Committee, which is Chaired by Harlow’s MP, Robert Halfon, on the inclusion of children in the Government’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Prof Whitty and his counterparts in the other three UK nations last week recommended that a Covid vaccine should be offered to all children aged 12 to 15.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) had earlier concluded that the margin of benefit was too small to support universal vaccination of healthy 12 to 15 year olds, but suggested that the Government should seek advice from the chief medical officers on the wider societal and educational impacts.

Prof Whitty will be joined by Deputy CMO Jonathan Van-Tam, as well as the Chair of the JVCI Covid-19 sub-committee and the President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Harlow MP, Robert Halfon MP, who is Chair of the Education Committee, said: “Any decision by the Chief Medical Officer to recommend vaccination for school children needs to be properly explained if families are to maintain trust in the system. The session will be a chance for Professor Whitty to set out his thinking on the wider benefits and risks of vaccination of 12 to 15 year olds and reassure parents that any decision taken is in the best interests of their children’s welfare. He also must be clear that, as the Secretary of State said, parental consent will always be sought before vaccination.

“Many parents in Harlow and the villages have raised their concerns about the potential for no parental consent being sought. I will be raising their concerns and questions directly with the Chief and Deputy Chief Medical Officer.”

Witnesses:

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of JCVI Covid-19 sub-committee (Virtual)
Dr Camilla Kingdon, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)

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