• Sunday, December 04, 2022


UK to offer Covid vaccines for 16 and 17-year-olds soon

Representative image of teenage achool children in UK by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

By: Pooja Shrivastava

ABOUT 1.4 million teenagers, aged 16 and 17, in England will soon be offered Covid-19 vaccines, as per media reports on Wednesday (4), which claimed that Joint  Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will update the advice “imminently”.


It is not yet known when the jabs will start though reports claim that ministers want the teenagers to get vaccinated before they start school in September.

Just two weeks after JCVI recommended against routine vaccination of children saying it was still “assessing the benefits and risks”, media reports cited Whitehall sources saying ministers in England are expecting the go-ahead by JCVI very soon.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said an announcement was “imminent and… people will get clarity soon”, reports said.

Ministers are believed to have been in favour of older children getting access to the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Jabs for over-12s are currently limited to those who are clinically vulnerable or live with someone at risk.

The news comes after Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday (3) that she was “hoping” to receive updated advice from the JCVI on the vaccination of 16 and 17-year-olds.

Sturgeon said the UK’s four chief medical officers had written to the JCVI, asking them to look again at vaccination advice for young people.

As per recent REACT study findings released today (4) which stated that fully-vaccinated people are three times less likely to catch Covid than unvaccinated, young people are behind the recent surge in the numbers as they are the ones who are mostly unvaccinated.

“We’ve shown that prior to the recent dip, young people were driving the infections,” Imperial epidemiologist Paul Elliot, who leads the study, said, adding that the data also support that “there is uncertainty about what might happen in September when schools return and we have increased indoor mixing”.

Meanwhile, the UK appears to have passed the worst of the third wave, with daily new cases of Covid across the UK falling to 21,691 on Tuesday (3) and hospital admissions dropping to 731. There were 138 deaths recorded.

Across England, 223,755 under-18s have received a first vaccine dose, according to NHS data to 25 July.

Some countries, including the US, Canada and France, are routinely vaccinating people aged 12 years old and over.



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