CHILDREN in the UK aged 12 to 15 are to be offered a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 jab, beginning next week, the Vaccines Minister has announced.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi made the decision after the UK’s chief medical officers (CMOs) said that the rollout could prevent around 30,000 infections between October 2021 and March 2022, meaning 110,000 fewer missed days of in-person schooling.
England’s CMO, Professor Chris Whitty, said it was a “difficult decision” because the health benefits were small, but it could be an “important and useful tool” in stopping school disruption in the coming months.
Mr Zahawi said it was hoped the first vaccinations in England would take place by 22 September.
If you’re 12 or older, you will receive an “offer” to be vaccinated, and be given support to make the decision alongside your parents. they are sure you fully understand the situation.
Meanwhile, the Government has begun to set out its winter plans for managing COVID-19 in England. These include measures to stop the NHS becoming overwhelmed by both flu and coronavirus cases.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Parliament that ‘Plan A’ measures included the rollout of vaccines to young people, a UK-wide booster jab programme for the over-50s and continuing work to test, trace and isolate those with COVID-19.
An extra £5.4bn will be put into the NHS in England for the next six months, and it is “highly likely” that frontline health workers soon will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
While it’s hoped that this will be enough to keep case numbers low, the Government hasn’t ruled out a ‘Plan B’. This could include reintroducing masks, social distancing, vaccine passports, or even lockdowns as a last resort, as well as asking people to work from home.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the trigger for Plan B would be based on pressures on the NHS.