Children in the UK aged 12 to 17 who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 will need to wait 12 weeks for their COVID-19 vaccine on a “precautionary” basis due to an increased risk of myocarditis.
The current guidance of 28 days has been extended to three months starting on Thursday (Nov. 18). However, officials stress that the risks are “very slight” and most cases of myocarditis are “very mild.”
It has also emerged that officials now believe as many as half of secondary school-age children have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 since the start of the pandemic. Experts say many of these SARS-CoV-2 infections are so mild that most parents would not even realize their children were infected. The revelation raises hopes that children are developing natural immunity.
Just to be clear: children with natural immunity from previous SARS-CoV-2 infection do not need to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, officials stressed that people—including teens—who only suspect they may have had SARS-CoV-2 recently should still go ahead with their COVID-19 vaccine appointment. The 12-week guidance applies only to children who have had a confirmed infection, using a positive lateral flow or PCR test.