Covid: Vaccines to be offered to 16 and 17 year olds

Covid: Vaccines set to be offered to 16 and 17 year olds

8/4/2021 5:15:00 AM

Covid: Vaccines set to be offered to 16 and 17 year olds

More than one million teenagers would be included in a new rollout if ministers accept expert advice.

The only Covid jab currently authorised in the UK for under-18s is the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.Last month, the JCVIextended its recommendation on Covid jabsto children aged over 12 who are at higher risk of getting ill and to those on the verge of turning 18.

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However, it said it would not extend the rollout as it examined reports of rare adverse events such as inflammation of heart muscles among young adults.Speaking ahead of the July decision, England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the JCVI were confident vaccines would protect children to a high degree.

He added that more research was taking place as children do not tend to suffer severely from Covid, and the experts wanted to ensure the benefits of the jab outweighed any potential risks.Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "With the JCVI apparently about to give the green light to vaccinating 16-year-olds, ministers need to ensure plans are in place to roll out this vital next stage of vaccination while ensuring parents have all the facts and information they need."

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We continue to keep the vaccination of children and young people under review and will be guided by the advice of the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation."All over-18s have now been offered a vaccination against coronavirus. The

latest government datashows 88.7% of people in the UK have now had one dose of vaccine, while 73% have had two jabs.And a further 21,691 cases of people testing positive for coronavirus were recorded in the UK on Tuesday. It was the fifth day in a row that infections have fallen, and the lowest daily total since late June.

Read more: BBC Health News »

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