All secondary school leavers in the UK will begin being offered a first shot of the COVID jab within weeks after council from vaccine experts. They won’t need parental consent and will get the Pfzier -BioNtech jab, the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI) said on Wednesday. Aid on when to offer the second dose will come later, the JCVI added. The adjustment in guidance means an estimated 1.4 million teenagers will be suited.
Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said there were more than enough vaccines at present, adding: “We have the supply and I’m expecting this to start in a very short number of weeks indeed.””There is no time to waste in getting on with this,” he said, highlighting that children will begin returning to sixth forms and colleges in the near future. “I want us to proceed as fast as is practically possible.”
Last month, the JCVI stopped shy of opening up jabs to 16 and 17-year-olds as it wanted time to examine the risks and rewards, as well as reports of limited adverse effects such as inflammation of heart muscles. But on Wednesday the group of independent experts said these events were “extremely rare” and usually occurred within a few days of a second dose, typically more in young men.