Holly Willoughby conflicted about son Harry, 12, getting the COVID-19 vaccine during debate

Holly Willoughby found herself caught between two opinions over teenagers receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday’s This Morning.

A live debate between two doctors left Holly admitting that ‘it does make you think…’ about whether it’s the right move for children and teenagers to be jabbed, after  Chris Whitty advised this week that those aged 12 to 15 should be offered single doses of Pfizer‘s jab in the coming days.

Holly, 40, pointed out that the announcement affects her and her 12-year-old son Harry.

Conflicting opinions: Holly Willoughby found herself caught between two opinions over teenagers receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday's This Morning

Conflicting opinions: Holly Willoughby found herself caught between two opinions over teenagers receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday's This Morning

Conflicting opinions: Holly Willoughby found herself caught between two opinions over teenagers receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday’s This Morning

The presenter, who is also mother to Belle, 10, and Chester, six, chimed in as she and Phillip Schofield listened to Dr Renee Hoenderkamp’s ‘against’ and Dr Philippa Kaye’s ‘for’ arguments. 

‘This virus does very little harm, more people, more children under the age of 14 die from chicken pox and parents don’t lock their children away or give them a vaccine,’ Dr Renee said.

She went on to explain that the death of a 13-year-old is being investigated by the CDC in the US after they died after being vaccinated.

‘Obviously, I’ve got a 12 year old son, so hearing some of those things it does make you think a little bit there…’ Holly mused.

Pros and cons: A live debate between two doctors left Holly admitting that 'it does make you think...' about whether it's the right move for children and teenagers to be jabbed, after Chris Whitty advised this week that those aged 12 to 15 should be offered single doses of Pfizer's jab in the coming days

Pros and cons: A live debate between two doctors left Holly admitting that 'it does make you think...' about whether it's the right move for children and teenagers to be jabbed, after Chris Whitty advised this week that those aged 12 to 15 should be offered single doses of Pfizer's jab in the coming days

Pros and cons: A live debate between two doctors left Holly admitting that ‘it does make you think…’ about whether it’s the right move for children and teenagers to be jabbed, after Chris Whitty advised this week that those aged 12 to 15 should be offered single doses of Pfizer’s jab in the coming days

Debate: Holly, 40, pointed out that the announcement affects her and her 12-year-old son Harry

Debate: Holly, 40, pointed out that the announcement affects her and her 12-year-old son Harry

Debate: Holly, 40, pointed out that the announcement affects her and her 12-year-old son Harry

Dr Philippa said: ‘The JCVI [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] figures are different to the figures that Dr Renee has just said, and they have said that per million children who are vaccinated, we would save 87 hospital admissions.’

Fury has erupted over the plans, with experts and parents warning it may lead to unvaccinated pupils being ‘bullied’ and could even ‘tear families apart’.

Teaching unions have claimed staff have already been threatened with legal action if they advise pupils on getting the Covid vaccine. 

Plans: The above image shows an example of a parental consent form for the human papillomavirus jab. Parents are expected to receive a similar form in the coming days asking them to consent to their child receiving the Covid vaccine

Plans: The above image shows an example of a parental consent form for the human papillomavirus jab. Parents are expected to receive a similar form in the coming days asking them to consent to their child receiving the Covid vaccine

Plans: The above image shows an example of a parental consent form for the human papillomavirus jab. Parents are expected to receive a similar form in the coming days asking them to consent to their child receiving the Covid vaccine

Earlier this month: Yhe JCVI said it could not recommend Covid jabs for healthy 12 to 15-year-olds because the direct benefit to their health was only marginal

Earlier this month: Yhe JCVI said it could not recommend Covid jabs for healthy 12 to 15-year-olds because the direct benefit to their health was only marginal

Earlier this month: Yhe JCVI said it could not recommend Covid jabs for healthy 12 to 15-year-olds because the direct benefit to their health was only marginal

The Covid vaccine is set to be dished out through the existing school vaccination programme, which also manages the roll out of both HPV and nasal flu jabs in schools every year. Uptake of the HPV vaccine, which is given to 12 and 13 year olds, is usually around 85 per cent. 

Revealed: The logistics of vaccinating over-12s in schools

How will it work?

The NHS has already been asked to prepare to offer Covid vaccines to 3million 12 to 15-year-olds.

Doses will mostly be administered through the school vaccination programme, which manages HPV and flu inoculations in schools every year.

Official figures showed almost 90 per cent of children offered the HPV vaccine every year take it. 

Children will likely receive their vaccines in suitable areas such as school halls. They will be delivered by nurses, healthcare support workers and administrative staff.

Parents are set to receive a letter revealing the plans for jabbing kids in the coming days, No10’s vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi revealed today. They will also be asked to consent to their child receiving the vaccine. 

Will it need parental consent?

Under-16s are not automatically presumed to be legally competent to make decisions about their healthcare and, therefore, whether they should get the Covid jab.

But the courts have previously ruled that under-16s are competent to give consent to an intervention if they have ‘sufficient understanding and intelligence to understand fully what is proposed’.

This is known as the ‘Gillick test’, and has been in place since the 1980s.  

The test is normally carried out by a medical professional or nurse, who assesses the child’s maturity, and their understanding of the advantages, disadvantages and potential long-term impacts of vaccination. They then give a view on whether the child is competent to consent to vaccination.

Can children overrule their parents?

Mr Zahawi said today that children as young as 12 could be able to overrule their parents to get the vaccine.

But he admitted this was likely to be a ‘very rare occurrence’ for the youngest children. He also said parents should not be ‘stigmatised’ if they are hesitant about their children being vaccinated.

Mr Zahawi said children would only be able to choose to have the coronavirus vaccine against their parents’ wishes following a meeting with a clinician.  

The deputy head of the JCVI Professor Anthony Harnden said there was ‘sliding scale’ of competency, meaning it would be easier for a 15-year-old to overrule their parents than a 12-year-old who is ‘less likely to be deemed competent’.

Professor Chris Whitty said, in terms of medical consent: ‘In the majority of cases, children and their parents come to the same decision.’ 

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Children will likely receive the Covid vaccine in school halls, and will have it delivered by nurses, healthcare support workers, or administrative staff.

Parents will receive forms in the coming days laying out the details of the vaccination programme for children in their area, and asking them to consent to their child receiving the Covid jab.

In cases where the parent and child disagree with each other, they will be dragged into school for a meeting with a clinician to try to get both parties on board. However, children will have the final say as long as they are deemed competent enough. 

Medics decide their maturity through the ‘Gillick’ test, which has been in place since the 1980s and involves a professional asking a child about their understanding of the advantages, disadvantages and long-term impacts of vaccination.

Plans to vaccinate all over-12s across the UK descended into further confusion and controversy on Monday as Britain’s vaccines minister admitted Year 7 children could ignore their parents’ wishes — while Tory MPs warned the jab policy will ‘tear families apart’.

No10’s vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the NHS was ready to begin inoculations from next Wednesday, but there are concerns that while parental consent will be sought, it will not be needed if the healthcare worker administering the jab considers the child is competent to make the decision themselves. 

Mr Zahawi admitted that 12-year-olds will be able to override their parents’ wishes on Covid jabs but he admitted it is likely to be ‘a very rare occurrence’.

He also said parents shouldn’t be ‘stigmatised’ if they are hesitant about their children being vaccinated, given that top advisers insisted the benefits only marginally outweighed the risks.

But in more confusion, a senior member of the JCVI, Professor Anthony Harnden, suggested there would be a sliding scale of competency, meaning that it would be easier for a 16-year-old to overrule a parent than for a 12-year-old who is ‘less likely to be deemed competent’ under the ‘Gillick test’, which has been in place for the medical treatment of minors since the 1980s. 

Cotswolds Conservative MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown told MPs he finds Covid jabs for secondary school children — and the rows it will cause — ‘deeply troubling’.

He said: ‘It will pit parents against parents. Parents against teachers with a poor child stuck in the middle wondering what to do, for very little benefit for the child themselves, with a lack of long-term data of the potential harm.

‘And, above all, what really concerns me about this is the Gillick doctrine of treating children without parental consent will become the norm for a whole range of medical procedures.’ 

Fellow Tory MP Marcus Fysh has claimed it is a ‘very dark day for our country’ while Ian Duncan Smith said he is sure the vaccines diktat will cause disputes within families after Mr Zahawi confirmed the plans to offer a single Pfizer jab to healthy 12 to 15-year-olds during a speech to the House of Commons.

Conservative Dr Caroline Johnson added: ‘I have given many vaccines in my time, including hundreds more recently of Covid vaccines. Half of children have already had coronavirus and are very likely to get it again. Does the minister really believe that vaccinating three million children to prevent an average of four days of school or less is really reasonable?’ 

This Morning airs weekdays at 10AM on ITV and ITV Hub.

Link hienalouca.com

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