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Mass Covid vaccine rollout for children aged 5 to 11 set to be announced in days

Government scientific advisers are understood to have agreed Covid vaccines should be made available on a “non-urgent” basis to children aged five to 11

Parents ‘will be able to get five to 11-year-olds vaccinated’

A mass rollout of Covid vaccines for children aged between five and 11 is expected to be announced this week.

It is understood Government scientific advisors have agreed jabs for ‘healthy’ children in this age range should be made available on a “non-urgent” basis.

The new guidance would suggest families may like to consider the jab to protect against a ‘potential future wave’.

The percentage of people testing positive for Covid decreased but remained “very high” for those aged 2 years to aged 11 in the week ending February 5th, 2022.

Officials figures show that 11.5 per cent of that age range were positive after a nose and throat test.

Currently, 500,000 children in this age bracket, who are either most at risk of Covid-19 or live with someone vulnerable, are now able to get vaccinations against the virus.







The NHS is sending invites to parents of more than one million 12 to 15-year-olds reminding them to come forward for their jab
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Image:

Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

But in a hint at things to come health bosses at the British overseas territory the Cayman Islands have reportedly been told they will get vaccines for all their 5 to 11-year-olds shipped from the UK “in a few weeks”.

Families have been complaining that their holiday plans have been threatened because of the lack of jabs for under-12s in the UK.

The majority of countries in Europe are now introducing jabs for under-12s, and some resorts have banned those who are unvaccinated apart.

However, Spain announced that it would relax its rules from Monday, to allow unvaccinated British teenagers to enter the country with a negative test.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) has been divided about the matter for months and last officially updated their advice just before Christmas.

Then they changed their guidance to include children aged 5 to 11 who are ‘in a clinical risk group or who has household contact with someone who is immunosuppressed’.







Veronika Brosnan, 12, (left) and Sama Ali, 14, stroke a sheep after being given a Covid-19 vaccination
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Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

They said the decision was made “following extensive assessment of the risks and benefits of vaccinations” for this age and after considering clinical trials and international data.

They added: “Further advice regarding COVID-19 vaccination for other 5 to 11-year-olds will be issued in due course following consideration of additional data relevant to this age group, and on the Omicron variant more broadly.”

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair, COVID-19 immunization, JCVI, said at the time: “The majority of children aged 5 to 11 are at very low risk of serious illness due to COVID-19.

“However, some 5 to 11-year-olds have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk, and we advise these children to be vaccinated in the first instance.”

The committee is now understood to have recommended to ministers that jabs should be offered to all in that age group, but it is not clear if formal advice has yet been given to Government health officials.







The Government’s scientific advisers are said to have agreed that the jabs should be made available to youngsters on a ‘non-urgent’ basis
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Image:

Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

A statement from the Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said on Sunday: “No decisions have been made by ministers on whether healthy 5-11-year-olds should be routinely offered COVID-19 vaccines.”

Currently, the NHS is offering COVID-19 vaccine to children and young people aged 12 to 17 years.

Young people at greater risk of serious illness if they catch COVID-19 will need 2 doses of vaccine, 8 weeks apart. All other young people will be offered 2 doses of vaccine 12 weeks apart.

Veronika Brosnan, 12, and Sama Ali, 14, this weekend received their Covid-19 vaccination at North East Surrey College of Technology (Nescot) in Epsom.

At the moment when many schools are breaking up for half term, the NHS is sending invites to parents of more than one million 12 to 15-year-olds reminding them to come forward for their jab, with over 770,000 appointments available for this age group.

Other venues lined up by the NHS to get 12 to 15-year-olds vaccinated during half term, are a petting zoo, family fun days and a skate park.

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