The UK’s chief medical officers (CMOs) have recommended that all children aged 12-15 are given a first dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine.
In response, the Government said it would set out its decision ‘shortly’.
The UK’s CMOs were asked to review universal Covid vaccination for 12-15s after the JCVI stopped short of recommending expanding the rollout to all healthy children in the age group.
In a letter to the four UK health ministers, sent today, the CMOs said: ‘The view of the UK CMOs is that the additional likely benefits of reducing educational disruption, and the consequent reduction in public health harm from educational disruption, on balance provide sufficient extra advantage in addition to the marginal advantage at an individual level identified by the JCVI to recommend in favour of vaccinating this group.
‘They therefore recommend on public health grounds that Ministers extend the offer of universal vaccination with a first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to all children and young people aged 12-15 not already covered by existing JCVI advice.’
They added: ‘If Ministers accept this advice, UK CMOs would want the JCVI to give a view on whether, and what, second doses to give to children and young people aged 12-15 once more data on second doses in this age group has accrued internationally. This will not be before the Spring term.’
A Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokesperson said: ‘We have received advice from the four UK Chief Medical Officers on offering Covid-19 vaccination to young people aged 12-15.
‘We will set out the Government’s decision shortly.’
This story first appeared on our sister title, Pulse.