Young people aged 12-15 in England will be offered a first Pfizer jab starting from next week, the Government has announced.
The NHS is preparing for a school-based delivery of the programme which will be ‘supported by GPs and community pharmacies’, it said.
Healthy 12-15s will ‘primarily’ receive their Covid jab in their school but there will be ‘alternative provision’ for those who are home-schooled, in secure services or specialist mental health settings, it added.
Announcing the rollout yesterday evening, health secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘I have accepted the recommendation from the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) to expand vaccination to those aged 12 to 15 – protecting young people from catching Covid-19, reducing transmission in schools and keeping pupils in the classroom.
‘I am very grateful for the expert advice I have received from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and UK CMOs.’
He added: ‘Our outstanding NHS stands ready to move forward with rolling out the vaccine to this group with the same sense of urgency we’ve had at every point in our vaccination programme.’
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that vaccination staff will seek parental, guardian or carer consent prior to vaccination ‘in line with existing school vaccination programmes’.
More than four in five UK adults have so far received both Covid vaccine doses, while over half of all 16 and 17 year-olds have come forward for their first jab, it added.
The CMOs said that the JCVI should advise on whether and what second dose should be given to the group once more data is available.
Health secretary Sajid Javid previously said that the jabs would be administered by school vaccination teams, as well as at other locations including GP vaccination sites, to ensure full coverage across the country.
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