Kawasaki Disease and Covid-19 Vaccinations
We’ve been contacted by parents asking for information about whether having a history of Kawasaki Disease means a child or young person is more susceptible to becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 – raising the question about whether they should receive an early vaccination.
There’s a few things to think about here! So we have asked our Scientific Advisory Board and NHS England too. Here’s what the experts said.
A low risk of serious illness from Covid-19 in children
The first point to know is that all the data from studies all around the world is still showing that the risk of serious illness from Covid-19 in children is very low. There will of course be a few children who become seriously ill and the media publicise these cases widely. That doesn’t help us as parents does it! But the facts do show a very low risk to children from Covid-19.
Vaccines have been tested for an adult population
Because Covid-19 was quickly recognised as being of greatest threat to older people, vaccine trials focused on adults. This means the safety and effectiveness of results that have been reported relate to adult populations. Separate trials for vaccines in children are happening though. The Oxford-Astra-Zeneca vaccine team are working now to find out how effective their vaccine is for children. We will know the results of this study at the end of the summer.
Vaccines are only being offered to a few patients under 16 where there is a very serious risk
The Governments Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said that only children at a very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care should be offered the vaccine. No other groups under 16 have been authorised for the vaccine. The vaccine has been approved for children aged 12-17, but it is not yet agreed by the government that we should be doing this.
A history of Kawasaki Disease does not mean a child or young person is “clinically vulnerable”
Every child and young person has a different journey with Kawasaki Disease and some children and young people will have other unrelated health issues as well. But data from U.K. studies and worldwide has not shown an increased risk of serious illness from Covid-19 in children and young people who have a history of Kawasaki Disease.
If you are concerned, speak to your GP or usual doctor
Social media – especially unmoderated forums (places where people can post what they like without facts being checked) can quickly spread worry and cause real alarm – even though the information being shared might be false or incorrect. If you are concerned, speak to a trusted person, a healthcare professional like your GP or your usual doctor, who will be able to give you advice about your own circumstances or those of your child.
Important note: Information contained above has been provided by and reviewed by NHS England and members of Societi’s Scientific Advisory Board for accuracy. Published 10 March 2021 (Updated and reviewed on 22nd June 2021)