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Whether all children under 12 years of age should be vaccinated against COVID-19 remains an ongoing debate. The relatively low risk posed by acute COVID-19 in children, and uncertainty about the relative harms from vaccination and disease mean that the balance of risk and benefit of vaccination in this age group is more complex. One of the key arguments for vaccinating healthy children is to protect them from long-term consequences. Other considerations include population-level factors, such as reducing community transmission, vaccine supply, cost, and the avoidance of quarantine, school closures and other lockdown measures. The emergence of new variants of concern necessitates continual re-evaluation of the risks and benefits. In this review, we do not argue for or against vaccinating children against COVID-19 but rather outline the points to consider and highlight the complexity of policy decisions on COVID-19 vaccination in this age group.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch Dis Child

Publication Date



COVID-19, child health, communicable diseases, epidemiology, ethics