- Advertisement -
HomeUK NewsDecision to offer over a million teenagers vaccine expected 'imminently'

Decision to offer over a million teenagers vaccine expected ‘imminently’

The vaccine is currently already available to children aged 12 and they are at higher risk, or if they live with an immunosuppressed person

The government is expected to be announcing the offer of a vaccine for COVID-19 to some 1.4 million teenagers “imminently”, a government minister has now confirmed.

Speaking to Sky News Michelle Donelan, the UK’s universities minister said that Downing Street was awaiting advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which is currently assessing whether all 16 and 17-year-olds in the country should receive the vaccine, and that an announcement on the matter would be made “shortly”.

Ms Donelan did not answer whether or not parental consent may be required for teenagers in order for them to accept the offer of the coronavirus vaccine.

And when asked about whether 18 to 30-year-olds could be offered cash incentives in order to take up the vaccination, Ms Donelan added that “everything is on the table”.

The change in policy was first hinted at by the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday as she had announced that the Scottish government, as well as the UK, Welsh and Northern Irish governments are all “in the same position” in expecting that updated recommendations for the vaccinating of 16 and 17-year-olds “in the next day or so”.

This comes after halfway through the Summer Olympics in Japan, coronavirus cases are surging in the nation during a state of emergency, although the outbreak is nowhere near as severe as other places as the world deal with a more contagious Delta variant.

She continued by saying:

“We haven’t announced that, what we are doing is waiting for the JCVI announcement,” Ms Donelan told Sky News.

“At every stage throughout the pandemic we have adopted their advice on this, they are the experts of course when we are determining the vaccine rollout, and we will await their imminently announcement shortly.”

She then clarified: “We are awaiting the feedback from the JCVI and then we will update accordingly, so we haven’t actually had a change of heart, there’s been no policy announcement, we’re awaiting that JCVI announcement which we’re expecting imminently, and then we’ll make an announcement.”

H2B Windows Advert

The COVID-19 vaccine is already available to children aged 12 and over if their health leaves them at higher risk or live with an immunosuppressed person.

In July, the JCVI previously said that “the minimal health benefits of offering universal COVID-19 vaccination to children do not outweigh the potential risks” as the coronavirus rarely causes severe disease within children that have no underlying health conditions.

Symptoms are “typically mild” within children, the JCVI has said, and as of March of 2021, fewer than 30 children had died as a result of the coronavirus.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon suggested on Tuesday that an announcement on the matter would be made within the coming days.

The director of the React programme, Professor Paul Elliott, said that children should be vaccinated for the coronavirus if they are offered the chance as a surge in infections of the disease to mid-July was being “driven” by younger people in the nation.

“Clearly what’s important now is that as many people who get offered the opportunity to have the vaccination should take it,” he told Sky News.

Speaking about the React study, which has been tracking infection in the population, he added: “The highest rates of infection was in the 13 to 24-year-old group, and the increase that we saw going up to mid-July was being driven from these younger people.

This comes after Lewis Hamilton has said that he has symptoms of long COVID after he required medical help following the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday. The seven-time world champion had performed superbly in order to move from last place to third place in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“As you say, there is a suggestion that maybe 16 and 17-year-olds will be offered the vaccine, in which case, I think it’s important that people should take that up if offered.”

Co-author of the React study Steven Riley added that the latest results from the programme would “support” extending the vaccination programme to 16 and 17-year-olds.

And Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said allowing younger people to have coronavirus jabs would be welcome news.

It is expected that ministers will approve advice from the JCVI, which recommends healthy teenagers aged 16 and over be offered the chance to take up the vaccine as soon as Wednesday.

Shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard told Kay Burley that vaccinating 16 and 17-year-olds is a “good idea” if it reduces the number of hospitalised people with COVID-19.

“It’s being carried out right around the world at the moment in a safe way and if this increases the resilience of our nation and reduces the number of people facing hospitalisation or facing long COVID then I think it is a good idea,” he said on Sky News.

Eve Cooper
Eve Cooper
I've been writing articles and stories for as long as I can remember and in the past few years I've had the fortune of turning that love & passion for writing into my job :)

Breaking News Today is a small UK business struggling to stay afloat during COVID lockdown. If you enjoyed this article or found it useful please subscribe to all of our social media outlets.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

- Advertisement -