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Children as young as 12 to be offered Covid jab from Monday
20 September 2021, 00:09 | Updated: 20 September 2021, 08:58
All 12 to 15-year-olds in England will be offered a Covid jab from Monday.
Children will be able to get one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab as part of the schools-based vaccination programme.
It comes following advice from the UK's Chief Medical Officers (CMOs), with Professor Chris Whitty saying the decision was about "balancing risk and benefit".
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation previously said that the virus presented a very low risk for healthy children and vaccination would only offer a marginal benefit.
However, they suggested that wider issues, such as education, should instead be taken into consideration and examined by CMOs.
Health 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.
"I am very grateful for the expert advice I have received from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and UK Chief Medical Officers.
"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."
Since the announcement, there has been ongoing concerns over children being allowed to get jabbed against their parents wishes.
However, Nadhim Zahawi told LBC's Nick Ferrari that children would only be able to choose following a meeting with a clinician in attempt to resolve any disputes.
In the coming week, over a million people in England will also be sent invitations to book their booster jabs with over 50s and frontline health and social care workers among those being prioritised.
Mr Javid said the boosters will "strengthen the wall of defence" created by vaccines.