Reply To: Conspiracy Theorists, Why is Westminster Lifting All COVID Restrictions?


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#74464
Clark

Should children be vaccinated?

OK, first thing; it’s not up to me, and I shouldn’t decide. Two pages of comments back, SA linked to the UK rules of medical consent, and I think they’re about right:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/consent-to-treatment/children/

I expect in practice that most children will be vaccinated.

The appropriate tool when considering whether to vaccinate is cost-benefit analysis. In this case the choice of population to include in the analysis affects the balance; if we consider only the children, there will be less benefit than if we consider the entire population.

In both cases we can assess only costs and benefits to date – there could be unforeseen risks with covid itself, and (less likely) with the vaccines. To compare these, we need to know how well the vaccines prevent children from getting infected, and we can’t know that for potential future variants.

So no cost-benefit analysis is likely to be everyone’s favourite, and all are going to include considerable uncertainty.

What we definitely need to avoid is polarised, rhetorical argument over the evidence. We need to maximise light and minimise heat.

I’d feel more confident about vaccine development under less urgent conditions, and I expect others would too.