With Britain’s COVID vaccine rollout continuing at full speed, those under 30 will be invited for their first doses this week. Officials are also discussing opening vaccines to teenagers in August and even introducing a school vaccination programme at the start of the next school year.
Under 30s to be invited for their vaccines this week
Health Secretary Matt Hancock recently announced to Sky News that under 30s will be invited for their first dose of coronavirus vaccines this week. Hancock revealed to Sky’s Trevor Phillips: ‘This week we will be opening up vaccines to the under-30s, and so we are getting a step closer to the point when we have been able to offer the vaccine to all adults in this country.’
Then, once we have got everybody having had their second dose, then you will get this protection that we are seeing at the moment among older people, you’ll get that protection throughout the whole adult population. That way, we can get out of this and restore our freedoms. But the timing of exactly when we can take that step is the big question.
Hancock hinted that details for the June 21st reopening were still under discussion. He assured that the plans have not yet been scrapped but that it is still too early to determine the possibility of a complete lifting of COVID safety measures. Last week Boris Johnson postponed announcements for the 21st of June and is now expected to deliver answers on the 14th.
Vaccines for children could start as early as August
The Telegraph has also revealed that coronavirus vaccine rollouts for those aged 12-15 could begin as early as August or September. However, the plans are still being discussed.
Ministers are currently waiting on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), who will evaluate whether the jab will be recommended for children.
Plans for vaccine rollout programmes in schools could also be underway for the next academic year as the MHRA has already approved the Pfizer vaccine for those aged 12-15.
Earlier this week, Public Health England Data revealed that children aged ten and over, including teenagers, were responsible for more than a quarter of the latest coronavirus cases. The news comes after warnings that children would be much more susceptible to the Delta variant, now the UK’s dominant COVID variant.
On Saturday, JCVI’s deputy chairman Professor Anthony Harnden hinted that vaccinating children would primarily benefit society as a whole rather than just the children and teenagers themselves. He told The Telegraph:
In terms of being to their benefit, it’s either a health benefit or an educational benefit. That will be weighed up against the possibility of children transmitting to adults to protect other adults by immunising children, but the trouble with that is an ethical question about safety.