Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Children 'to begin getting Covid jabs from August', report claims
24 March 2021, 00:20
Children in the UK could begin receiving their coronavirus jabs as early as August under provisional government plans, according to a newspaper report.
The Telegraph has claimed that ministers are awaiting the results of a study into the safety of Covid vaccinations for children before coming to a final decision.
Citing two sources involved in the planning of the vaccine rollout for kids, the paper said the pair had revealed the final summer month as "the soonest point at which Britons under the age of 18 would be given the jabs".
Children are not currently part of the UK's coronavirus vaccine rollout plans unless they are at very high risk of contracting a severe case of the disease.
Last week, Oxford University launched its first study into assessing the safety and immune responses of their jab - made with pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca - in kids and young adults.
The trial is testing the drug on some 300 children aged between six and 17.
Safety data from the study, which the government is waiting for before coming to a final decision, is expected within the next weeks and months. The trial's conclusions are set to be published in June or July.
The Telegraph reported the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) as saying that "no decision" has yet been made on whether children will be offered vaccines.
However, one of the sources reportedly told the paper that first doses could be given to young people "by late summer", while another added that August would be the "earliest" start.
The DHSC explained that it "will be guided by the advice of (its) experts" before vaccinating children, the newspaper said.
Although young people are not part of the vaccine rollout in Britain, people aged between 16 and 17 in Israel have begun being inoculated.
Immunising children against Covid-19 is seen as vital in minimising the spread of the virus in the future, experts have previously said.
However, those opposed to the move say young people face a low risk of catching the disease.