Vaccinating teens against COVID-19 remains a hot-button issue, with the Government coming under fire for floating the prospect in recent weeks.
New research further adds to the controversy.
According to a US-based study, healthy boys are more at risk from a serious side effect of the Pfizer jab than Covid itself.
The findings suggest that healthy boys may be more likely to be admitted to the hospital with a rare side-effect of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine that causes inflammation of the heart than with Covid itself.
The researchers analyzing medical data suggest that boys aged 12 to 15, with no underlying medical conditions, are four to six times more likely to be diagnosed with vaccine-related myocarditis than ending up in hospital with Covid over a four-month period.
Most children who experienced the rare side-effect had symptoms within days of the second shot of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, though a similar side-effect is seen with the Moderna jab.
About 86 percent of the boys affected required some hospital care, the authors said.
To arrive at this conclusion, Dr Tracy Høeg at the University of California and colleagues analysed adverse reactions to Covid vaccines in US children aged 12 to 17 during the first six months of 2021.
They estimate the rate of myocarditis after two shots of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be 162.2 cases per million for healthy boys aged 12 to 15 and 94 cases per million for healthy boys aged 16 to 17.
The equivalent rates for girls were 13.4 and 13 cases per million, respectively.
At current US infection rates, the risk of a healthy adolescent being taken to hospital with Covid in the next 120 days is about 44 per million, they said.
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