DURING the pandemic, the University of Huddersfield Pharmacy department raised awareness about what vaccines are, how they are formulated and why they are an important part of healthcare strategy as well as progress being made in further COVID vaccine developments, so people can make an informed decision about getting vaccinated or choosing for their children.
In response to the recent controversy over why COVID vaccines for children had not been approved in the UK but had been in the US and why the UK has been so slow to respond, the ministry Doctor Hamid Merchant wrote an article explaining why we should not rush the mass vaccination of young children and how delayed vaccination can be beneficial to offer a vaccine formulation more suitable for children, such as the nasal COVID vaccine which should be approved soon.
“We shouldn’t rush with a one-size-fits-all approach, especially when there is a product that would be more beneficial for children.”
Doctor Hamid Merchant
The article titled, “Why aren’t COVID vaccines for young children (5-11 years old) essential right now?” and published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practiceagrees with the UK Government Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) not to implement a compulsory mass vaccination program and explains why current vaccines will not give the best results in children in terms of efficacy and safety.
“Often, scientists and public health professionals worry that discussing these issues openly could jeopardize vaccine uptake,” Dr. Merchant said, “but it’s time we explained the science of vaccines and the differences between different vaccine formulations, as a number of vaccine products are now approved by regulatory agencies, we should not rush with a one-size-fits-all approach, especially when there is a product that would be more beneficial for children.
The present situation
As it stands, the UK Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) recommends that COVID vaccines should be offered to children aged 5-11 in the UK, but also considers this immunization not to be. essential.
In the article, Dr. Merchant, who is a pharmaceutical scientist with over 19 years of experience in pharmaceutical research and development in both industry and academia, explains why the Committee has been so conservative. in approving COVID vaccines for children and why his official statement on this took so long to be released.
He also explains that there are a number of alternatives for children that are about to be approved and which have been specifically designed to achieve the results in children that current vaccines cannot offer.
“We tried to present a scientific explanation of what vaccines are in general and that not all COVID vaccines are formulated the same,” Dr. Merchant said.
“At the start of the vaccination program, there was not enough information available, so explaining how the different vaccine formulations work and which are the safest given an individual’s pre-existing medical conditions (personalized medications) , we enable the public to become more educated in deciding what to do for themselves or their children.
As vaccines have now done their job to enable the country to live with the virus, Dr Merchant believes it is imperative to continue to study the next generation of COVID vaccines for all those who, in the future, still remain high risk in the face of emerging variants. of concern.
“We have organized a series of sessions and lectures for the public and healthcare professionals to raise awareness about how various vaccines work, why they are a very important part of healthcare strategy as well than to current advances in the development of COVID vaccines. This newspaper article is part of this campaign to increase drug safety during a pandemic,” he said.
Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice
The title of the article
Why are COVID vaccines for young children (5-11 years old) not essential right now?
Publication date of articles
Conflict of Interest Statement
No funding is received to support this work and there are no competing interests to disclose. HM is Head of Pharmacy Subject Matter at the University of Huddersfield in the UK and has extensive experience of working for and with the pharmaceutical industry in his current and previous jobs. He is also an adjunct professor at the Government of Pakistan Academy of Health Services.
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