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25 March 2021, 13:09
Will children get the Covid-19 jab and when will this be? Here's what we know...
It was recently reported that children may start to be offered the Covid jab later this summer.
According to the Telegraph, the government is proposing a rollout of the jab for under 18s by August in a push for maximum immunity from the virus.
So will your child be vaccinated? And when will this be? Here’s what we know…
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson has confirmed that "no decisions have been made on whether children should be offered vaccinations".
Speaking previously about the trials, Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, and Chief Investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, said: "Most children are relatively unaffected by coronavirus and are unlikely to become unwell with the infection.
"But it is important to establish the safety and immune response to the vaccine in children and young people as some children may benefit from vaccination.
"These new trials will extend our understanding of control of SARS-CoV2 to younger age groups."
Oxford University is expected to release safety data on the child vaccine study in June or July, and Ministers are said to be waiting on this before making their final decision.
Professor Adam Finn, who sits on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), has also said more studies would be needed before any decisions are made.
Asked if under-18s could be vaccinated after the summer holidays, the professor told Good Morning Britain: “As far as I know there has been no decision made to immunise children starting in August, or indeed any decision been taken to immunise children at all at this point.”
However, he did say it could become necessary to vaccinate children later this year, with teenagers being first in the queue.
“It’s certainly something that we might need to do,” he added.
“If it does turn out to be necessary to immunise children, I think it is more likely that we would prioritise teenagers over younger children, simply because the evidence we have at the moment is that transmission of the virus is more likely to occur from and between teenagers who are a little bit more like adults.”
Currently, only children who are at ‘very high risk’ are offered a Covid-19 jab.
A spokesman for the Department of Health has said: “While clinical trials are under way to test the efficacy and safety of Covid-19 vaccines in children and young adults, these trials have not concluded yet.
“We will be guided by the advice of our experts on these issues including the independent JCVI.”