Covid jabs to be available for 16-17 year olds

This will perhaps cause a stir in some families, as young people (16-17) will now be able to be immunised against Covid-19, with or without parental consent.

Those opting in  will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech jab. Some other countries have already been routinely vaccinating children over 12: US, France and Italy, Brazil, Japan, Israel and Hong Kong are examples. Currently, the online booking service is only open to the 18+ age group.

However, a BMJ article said: Covid-19 vaccination centres are working at 30% capacity because many young adults think they are “invincible” and don’t need the vaccine to protect themselves. However, increasing numbers of young people with coronavirus are being admitted to hospital – including to intensive care wards.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Today’s advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) means more young people aged 16 and over can benefit from COVID-19 vaccines. I have accepted their expert recommendations and I have asked the NHS to prepare to vaccinate those eligible as soon as possible.

COVID-19 vaccines have saved more than 60,000 lives and prevented 22 million infections in England alone. They are building a wall of defence against the virus and are the best way to protect people from serious illness. I encourage everyone who is eligible to come forward for both their jabs as quickly as possible.

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