UK Health Agency Extends Gap Between Infection and Shots for Children

By Reuters
November 19, 2021 Updated: November 19, 2021

LONDON—The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said on Wednesday that children aged between 12 and 15 should delay getting a COVID-19 vaccine if they have recently had COVID to at least 12 weeks after they were infected.

The advice brings guidance for 12 to 15-year-olds into line with that for 16 and 17-year-olds, who were advised to wait 12 weeks after infection before getting a shot when officials gave a go ahead for second doses for that age group.

Currently, 12 to 15-year-olds are only advised to get an initial shot of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which has been associated with rare, mild, and usually short-lived side effect of heart inflammation known as myocarditis.

The UKHSA said that the increase in the gap, from previous guidance of a 4-week interval, could cut rare cases of myocarditis further.

UKHSA said that current advice for at-risk children between 12-17 was unchanged, owing to their higher risk from COVID which would outweigh any benefit from delaying the shots.