Parents have reacted angrily after leaflets, claiming that under 16s will be targeted for Covid-19 (coronavirus) vaccines, were handed out to pupils as they left Goldington Academy on Wednesday (26 May).
The sheet was produced by a group calling themselves, Safer To Wait – a collective of ‘concerned parents, teachers, doctors, and lawyers’.
At the time of writing, there was no information available about the group although the hashtag #safertowait is active on Twitter.
The leaflet’s opening line said: “You may be aware that the government is planning to roll out the Covid-19 vaccines to our children soon.
“This is already happening with over 16s in Manchester despite safety and efficacy trials being incomplete.
“There has been a lot of coverage of this in the media and your child’s school or local health authority may already have given you some information.”
Currently, children under 16 years are only vaccinated in specific circumstances or at their clinician’s discretion.
The parent of on Goldington Academy student told the Bedford Independent: “I was furious when my teenager was handed this letter on her way out of school.
“Freedom of speech is one thing, but I think it is wholly inappropriate of anti-vaxxers to hang outside of schools, actively spreading misinformation to young, vulnerable and impressionable children.
“This is underhand behaviour and quite appalling when the rest of us are pulling together to stay safe.
“Now I have a child who is more confused than ever and even worse, scared to get the vaccination.”
Goldington Academy confirmed that the letter had not originated from the school.
Headteacher Francis Galbraith added, “We don’t support its content. We will be in touch with the police, for advice, if this issue continues.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “No decisions have been made on whether children should be offered vaccinations.
“Clinical trials on children and young adults are underway and we will be guided by the experts once they conclude.”
Responding to the safety of the vaccine, a spokesperson from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said: “We rigorously review clinical data in support of applications for any vaccine.
“A COVID-19 vaccine would only be authorised for younger age groups once the expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness have been met.”