Sage expert calls for children to get Covid jab as schools set to reopen

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One of the UK government’s scientific advisers has called for children to be vaccinated for Covid-19 and warned that opening schools now could lead to a resurgence of the virus.

Prof John Edmunds confirmed nervousness among some members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), of which he is one, about the government’s plan to reopen all schools on 8 March.

He said the move, which is expected to be confirmed by Boris Johnson on Monday, risked pushing the reproduction rate for the virus above the danger threshold of one.

Speaking on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show, Edmunds said: “I think if we open schools now, the reproduction number is likely to go to something close to one, potentially slightly above.”

He added: “We’re all at risk. And we can all spread the virus, and so until we’ve all been vaccinated, and I include children here, then there is going to be significant risk of a resurgence.”

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