Young people aged 12-15 in England will be offered a first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine beginning next week, the government said.
The decision follows advice from the four UK chief medical officers (CMOs), the Health and Social Care secretary on Monday (September 13), after the Joint Committee on Vaccination (JCVI) earlier in the month decided against making the recommendation.
The NHS is now preparing for a school-based delivery of the programme which will be ‘supported by GPs and community pharmacies’, it said.
Parental, guardian or carer consent will be sought by vaccination healthcare staff before giving the jabs.
Healthy school-aged children will receive their Covid-19 vaccination in their school, while alternative provision will be made for those who are home schooled.
Health and Social Care secretary, Sajid Javid said: “I have accepted the recommendation from the chief medical officers 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.
“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.