Over 1 million 16 and 17-year-olds set to be offered vaccine in UK

pharmafile | August 4, 2021 | News story | Research and Development  

UK experts are near announcing that all 16 and 17-year-olds should be offered a COVID vaccine in the UK, as reported in the BBC.

This comes after Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday that Scotland was “hoping to receive in the next few days updated advice from the JCVI [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] on possible vaccination of others in the younger age groups.

The JCVI came close to making the move last month, saying it was still assessing the benefits and risks.

This update will mean about 1.4 million teenagers will be included in the new rollout, however it is not known when the jabs will start.

The jab is currently only offered to over-12s who have underlying conditions or live with others at high risk.

Some countries, including the US, are already routinely vaccinating people aged 12 and over.

Prof Paul Elliott, Chair of Epidemiology and Public Health at Imperial College London, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme vaccinating younger age groups could help drive down infections.

With the highest rates of infection seen in young people under 24, he said “anything we can do to reduce transmission in that group would be helpful”.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said ministers should “ensure plans are in place to roll out this vital next stage of vaccination while ensuring parents have all the facts and information they need”.

According to the latest government data, all over-18s have now been offered a jab, 88.7% of people in the UK have now had one dose of vaccine, while 73% have had two.

Infections have continued to fall in the UK for the fifth day in a row.

Lilly Subbotin

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