Jonathan Van Tam: I’d be happy for my children to get the jab if they were old enough

4 August 2021, 21:08

Jonathan Van Tam said he would be happy for his kids to be vaccinated
Jonathan Van Tam said he would be happy for his kids to be vaccinated. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van Tam said he would be happy for his to be vaccinated against Covid-19 if they were old enough.

Speaking at a JCVI briefing today where it was confirmed that all 16-17 year olds in the UK will be offered a dose of the Pfizer jab, he said: "I have one child who is an adult, I have two children who are younger than 16 and 17.

"However I would be very much in favour based on the adjudication of the JCVI if they were 16 or 17 for them to be vaccinated, initially, with that first dose as JCVI has said.

READ MORE: Covid: 16 and 17-year-olds to be offered vaccine with no parental consent needed

"All of the adults in my known family group have had all of the covid vaccines that they are eligible for.

"I’m a strong believer that these vaccines are safe and effective. I’m a strong believer that they are changing how we can learn to live in a much more normal way with Covid-19 for the foreseeable future.

Prof Van-Tam added there was "no time to waste" in starting the extension of the vaccination programme to 16 and 17-year-olds.

"Children are going to start going back to colleges and sixths forms from September, and in Scotland that will be slightly earlier, so there is no time to waste in getting on with this," he said.

"Now we have the JCVI advice on starting that initial first dose in 16 and 17-year-olds, then I want us to proceed as fast as is practically possible.

"That isn't going to be tomorrow, I don't think it is likely to be early next week."

He added: "The NHS has been kept informed of what is being deliberated for JCVI, it has been preparing for multiple options for very many weeks now and I would expect this programme will start in a very short number of weeks."