Mum drives to Italy from Kent to get daughter, 9, vaccinated

A mum from Kent has driven her nine-year-old daughter all the way to Italy so she can be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Currently the jab is only available to under-12s in the UK if they are classed as clinically vulnerable, but other European countries are jabbing all children aged five to 11.

Alice Columbo, from Maidstone, says her daughter is ‘the most precious thing in the world’ and that she was prepared to go to another country to protect her from coronavirus.

Her child has Italian citizenship, so she was able to take her to Italy to get the jab regardless of the UK’s current guidance on jabs.

She said she feels ‘incredibly sorry’ for other parents who share her concerns but are unable to get their children vaccinated at home.

Ms Columbo chose to take a 13 hour journey by road rather than flying to minimise the risk of mixing with other people in airports and on planes, the BBC reports.

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She said: ‘I’d rather risk a vaccine we know a fair amount about than take pot luck with a virus about which we know very little.

Ms Columbo says she was particularly worried about her daughter developing long Covid.

She added: ‘Why would I not give protection to the most precious thing in the world to me, my daughter, rather than run the risk of her turning round to me in five, 10, 15 years’ time, saying “Mum, I’ve got heart problems, I’ve got brain problems, I’ve got lung problems, why didn’t you do all you could at the time to protect me”?’

Some European countries including Spain, Germany and Greece have recently started vaccinating children aged 5-11.

The UK government is yet to make a decision on giving the jab to primary school-aged children and have said they will release new advice once they have relevant data.

But they said children aged 5-11 were at very low risk of suffering from serious illness due to Covid-19.

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