Professor Devi Sridhar, chairman of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, told Good Morning Britain: “If we want schools to continue without disruption in the autumn and lift restrictions so children can have a normal experience, we need to vaccinate them, and if we wait and watch for the evidence it will be too late in the next few weeks.
“We have the supply – it’s not a large amount, it’s a couple of million doses to cover that population of 12-plus.
“And we can’t use AstraZeneca – the main supply we have – in younger age groups, so we should export AstraZeneca and help countries abroad, send those doses, as well as focusing on our adolescents to make sure they don’t have another year disrupted, because that would be an absolute shame.”
She added: “Children can still get long Covid and can still be chronically ill from this.
“Given that we know children can transmit, where we are going to see problems going forward is not going to be in care homes, it’s not going to be in hospitals, it’s going to be in schools, because this is where you’re going to see large groups of unvaccinated kids together, and we are going to have outbreaks.
“We might as well roll it out in the summer, get those kids covered so secondary schools can go back, normally, this autumn.”