Kids aged between 12 and 15 to get single dose of Covid vaccine within days

KIDS over-12 WILL start being jabbed within days after health chiefs urged ministers to give them a single shot of Pfizer.

Prof Chris Whitty and the UK's other chief medical officers will lay out plans to vaccinate children aged 12-15 at a 4pm Downing St press briefing.


In a letter to Sajid Javid and his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland they urged ministers to extend the rollout.

The letter said they "recommend on public health grounds that Ministers extend the offer of universal vaccination with a first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to all children and young people aged 12-15 not already covered by existing JCVI advice."

The decision takes into account the impact of the pandemic on children's education as well as the risks to their mental health from missing school.

Currently only over-16s are being jabbed but there has been widespread pressure to extend the rollout to curb infection as pupils go back to school.

Vulnerable over-12s are already been jabbed but boffins at the JCVI – the vaccines body – refused to recommend all teens get their shots.

They said Covid is only a tiny risk to over-12s and vaccination would only offer a marginal benefit.

It meant the top docs in all four nations were forced to make the ruling – to be set out this afternoon around 4pm.

BACK TO SCHOOL

Prof Whitty and the chiefs said their decision was on "public health grounds" as it was "likely vaccination will help reduce transmission of Covid-19 in schools".

They added: "Covid-19 is a disease which can be very effectively transmitted by mass spreading events, especially with Delta variant.

"Having a significant proportion of pupils vaccinated is likely to reduce the probability of such events which are likely to cause local outbreaks in, or associated with, schools.

"They will also reduce the chance an individual child gets Covid-19. This means vaccination is likely to reduce (but not eliminate) education disruption."

Boris Johnson will tomorrow hail vaccines as the front line in the UK's defence against an NHS-crippling winter surge.

He will use another press conference with Prof Whitty and chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance to lay out a booster blitz for the over-50s.

The PM will tomorrow lay out his winter Covid plan to avoid another NHS-crippling spike throughout the colder months.

On a visit to Leicestershire he said: "The way things are going at the moment we're very confident in the steps that we've taken.

"I'll be setting out a lot more tomorrow. I'll be giving a full update on the plans."

On the prospect of another lockdown, his official spokesman said today: "We would only ever consider those sorts of measures as a last resort."

The PM also urged the "10 per cent or so" who still have not had a single jab to "please go and get one", also directing his plea to younger people.

"Don't forget that the vast majority of people who are suffering seriously from Covid are unvaccinated," he added.

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