mRNA vaccine to be given to 12 to 15 age cohort this week

The first dose of the mRNA covid vaccine will be offered to children in Ireland aged 12 to 15 starting this weekend, an HSE spokesperson has declared.

The Director of Public Health at the HSE’s National Immunisation Office, Dr. Lucy Jessop, made the announcement on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, saying that online registrations would open from Thursday and would require the consent of one parent or legal guardian.

According to Dr. Jessop, children in Ireland will receive mRNA vaccines – either Pfizer or Moderna – which will involve two doses taken about three weeks to a month apart.

While she stated that the mRNA jab has been used on adults since September, with millions of doses administered worldwide, she did add that parents and their children should investigate vaccine information before making the choice to receive the inoculation.

In the US, as of July 16th, close to 9 million teens aged 12 to 17 had received the Pfizer-BioNTech jab. Around 9240 (0.1%) of these reported side effects, 91% of which were reported to be minor, such as immediate soreness at the vaccination centre.

However, the remaining 9% (832 total) experienced serious side effects according to the American CDC, with 4% (370 total) experiencing a serious condition called myocarditis, which involves the inflammation of the heart. This can weaken the heart’s ability to pump blood and cause rapid or abnormal rhythms.

The symptom, while very rare according to medicines regulators, is more common in young men, and can be caused by the Moderna jab as well (though it appears to be less common with this vaccine).

“The chance of these conditions occurring is very low, but you should be aware of the symptoms so that you can get prompt medical treatment to help recovery and avoid complications,” the European Medicines Agency said.

Last month, an editor with the British Medical Journal, one of the world’s most respected peer-reviewed publications, co-signed an article saying that the evidence shows the risks to children from Covid-19 vaccines outweigh the benefits, including any benefits regarding reducing infection for adults.

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