Covid: 'NHS planning vaccine rollout for children from age of 12'

26 August 2021, 11:15 | Updated: 26 August 2021, 14:23

Children as young as 12 could be offered the Covid vaccination
Children as young as 12 could be offered the Covid vaccination. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The NHS is making preparations for giving the Covid vaccine to children aged 12 and above, according to reports.

The rollout would be open to healthy 12 to 15-year-olds and could begin from as soon as 6 September, according to The Telegraph, citing emails seen by the paper sent by NHS England's regional offices.

Health officials have also revealed that children may not need parental consent to be vaccinated under a school vaccination programme, it was said.

The newspaper explained that trusts were being told they must have plans in place for 4pm on Friday.

Read more: Govt launches campaign to urge secondary school students to get jabbed and tested for Covid

However, the reports have been denied by the Department of Health, who say they are continuing "to plan for a range of scenarios".

"No decisions have been made on vaccinating 12-15 year olds and it is inaccurate to suggest otherwise," it said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Ministers have not yet received further advice from the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) on this cohort.

"We continue to plan for a range of scenarios to ensure we are prepared for all eventualities."

Read more: Questions raised over research suggesting jabs offer ‘waning protection’ against Covid

So far, both the Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines have been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for children as young as 12.

However, the JCVI are yet to advise the government on whether children in the age group should be given the jab or not, with only people aged 16 and over currently allowed the vaccine.

Some 12 to 15-year-olds are already able to get the Pfizer jab if they are considered clinically vulnerable.

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It comes as a small study has found that side effects from the Pfizer vaccine in the 12 to 15 age bracket were mostly mild or moderate.

Researchers in Bristol looked at 27 children considered vulnerable, whose parents recorded any side effects after the jab.

All of the effects reported - including a mild rash, headache and diarrhoea - had gone away within 72 hours, according to the study due to be published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.