Children should not be given a Covid-19 vaccine until there is more data to ensure it is safe, experts have warned the US regulator, as the first group of American teenagers were dosed with a potential treatment for the disease.
Top vaccine scientists on an advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration said the disease develops so differently in children that any approval should not rely on data from adults.
Most children get no or only mild symptoms, so the risk-benefit calculations of giving them a vaccine are different from those for adults. Yet a small proportion develop a serious condition called multi-inflammatory syndrome, which can be fatal.
Cody Meissner, chief of paediatric infectious diseases at Tuft’s Children’s Hospital in Boston, said he would want to be “very convinced” about the safety of a vaccine before it was approved for children.