Decision on vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds due next week

Published by Will Dodds on September 4th 2021, 2:02pm

The government will make a decision on whether to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to healthy 12 to 15 year olds in the UK.

BBC News reported that the government think there is a strong case to offer the jab to that age group, but they will wait on advice from the chief medical officers.

Vaccine experts said on Friday that the health benefits for people under 15 were marginal, with government sources believing that the rollout could reduce disruption once schools reopen.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised on Friday that vaccines should be given to 200,000 12 to 15 year olds with underlying conditions.

On the topic of vaccinating the entire age group the committee said: "The margin of benefit is considered too small to support universal vaccination at this time."

JCVI deputy chairman Prof Anthony Harnden told BBC Breakfast: "We have done our job. We have looked at the data, we have resisted a lot of pressure in terms of people making pronouncements - but we have actually coldly looked at the data."

He added: "Parents need to understand what the risks are, what the benefits are and make up their own mind about whether they offer consent or not, vaccinating 12 to 15 year-olds is not a black and white decision."

Labour has argued that vaccinating 12 to 15 year-olds could help prevent their education being disrupted and encouraged the government to "move urgently to make a decision".

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Will Dodds
Senior Journalist
September 4th 2021, 2:02pm

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