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'Protect them' Professor Sam McConkey insists parents should get kids vaccinated against Covid

He said that while there is less data on children and Covid vaccines than there is for adults, studies show they are successful at preventing disease.

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Professor Sam McConkey

Professor Sam McConkey

Professor Sam McConkey

Professor Sam McConkey has urged parents to get their children vaccinated against Covid.

He was speaking as the Government approved vaccines for kids aged 5-11 with National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) giving the green light for the use of the Pfizer jab in this age group.

Professor McConkey, from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, said that parents should protect their children by getting them vaccinated.

"I would be advocating that parents of children between 5 and 11 do get their children vaccinated for the children's own sake,” he told Newstalk’s Lunchtime Live.

“Not out of some sort of, ‘Let's vaccinate the children to protect the elderly’ - but rather the children themselves [that] have about a one in 3,000 chance of getting a rather bad complication of Sars-CoVi-2.

“Probably the most powerful emotion many of us ever experience, it's that one as a parent to protect and look out for the welfare and benefit of the next generation.

“Not just our own children, necessarily, but our community's and our nation’s children.

“I think that's a really powerful human attribute: that we do care for the next generation in these really emotional and powerful ways.”

He said that while there is less data on children and Covid vaccines than there is for adults, studies show they are successful at preventing disease.

“We know that...it has been given to hundreds of millions of adults,” he said.

“So, there's a lot of adult safety data and we know very strongly in adults that it works. There is a much smaller amount of data in children.”

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The infectious disease specialist explained that a New England Journal of Medicine study of 1,560 children conducted in November found no significant side effects.

“They did produce good antibodies; very, very similar amount of antibodies... to people [aged] 18 to 25.

“And happily they showed - and this was done in Spain, America, Poland and several countries - the children that were vaccinated had 90% less Sars-CoVi-2.”

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