New paper co-authored by Jonathan Herring explores children’s willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccine
A large school-based survey of students from 9 to 18 years old (Years 5 to 13) has shown that the younger students are, the less likely they are to want a COVID-19 vaccination.
Writing in EClinicalMedicine, authors from University of Oxford, UCL and the University of Cambridge presented the results of the OxWell School Survey 2021, which found that 36% of 9-year-olds are willing to have a COVID-19 vaccination, compared to 51% of 13-year-olds, and 78% of 17-year-olds. Those less willing to have a vaccination also often come from the most socioeconomically deprived backgrounds, feel less belonging to their school community and think they have probably had COVID-19 already.
Jonathan Herring, who was involved in drafting the paper and advising on the legal issues has said:
The law is clear that children are able to give legally effective consent to receive a COVID vaccine, if they have sufficient understanding. This is true even if their parents object. This study shows that a majority of children over 13 are keen to have the vaccine. Younger children have lower rates of acceptance, but it seems that is because they are reflecting the views of their parents. It is important children are given clear and accurate information so they can decide for themselves whether to take the vaccine.
You can read the article in full here.