LONDON, (Reuters) – All 12- to 15-year-olds in England will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine after top medical advisers said yesterday that children would benefit from reduced disruption to their education.
The British government confirmed that the offer would be extended to all children aged 12-15 after a unanimous recommendation by the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) from the four nations of the United Kingdom.
“I have accepted the recommendation from the Chief Medical Officers to expand vaccination to those aged 12 to 15 – protecting young people from catching COVID-19, reducing transmission in schools and keeping pupils in the classroom,” health minister Sajid Javid said in a statement.
Rollout to the cohort in England will begin next week. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own health policy, though each devolved administration received the same advice from their respective CMO.
The CMOs recommended that children aged 12-15 in Britain get a first shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) earlier this month decided against making the recommendation.
The children will be offered Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine. Vulnerable children in the age bracket were already eligible for the shots.