England braces for massive COVID vaccinations for 12-15 year olds, Health News, ET HealthWorld

LONDON, – The UK government said on Saturday it had asked England’s health services to prepare for a mass COVID-19 vaccination program for children aged 12-15 from September, if the vaccination experts give the green light.

A first dose of the vaccine has already been offered to every 16-17 year old in England as well as to 12-15 year olds with specific underlying health problems and those living with an immunocompromised person.

Britain has so far failed to follow the lead of many other countries which have pursued widespread immunization of children under 16.

The White House said on Friday https://www.reuters.com/world/us/half-12-17-year-olds-had-least-one-covid-19-vaccine-dose-white-house-2021 -08-27 Half of American children aged 12 to 17 had received at least their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination.

Most children only develop mild or no symptoms of COVID-19, but they are able to spread the virus.

The UK Department of Health has said “we must be ready to start and start these vaccinations as soon as possible” if government vaccination advisers support extending the program to every 12 to 15 years.

Advisors are currently evaluating the possible drawbacks and advantages of such an extension.

However, UK health regulators have previously stated that Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are safe and effective for people aged 12 to 17.

The English health service will start contracting with providers to recruit and train staff to provide vaccinations to school-aged children to ensure that teams would be ready to start offering vaccinations in schools from in early September, the health ministry said.

The consent of parents or caregivers would be sought before vaccinating children, he said.

Decentralized administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own powers over health policy. As in England, they currently do not offer COVID-19 vaccines every 12 to 15 years.

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