16 and 17 Year-Olds Will Be Able to Get Covid Vaccine Without Parental Consent

Some U.K. vaccination clinics have been giving 16 and 17 year-olds a Covid ‘jab’ in recent weeks, provided they were accompanied by a parent or guardian, but it is now understood that children in this age bracket will not require parental consent when the vaccine roll-out is extended in the coming weeks. MailOnline has the story.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended the 1.4 million youngsters should be offered Pfizer jabs, marking a dramatic U-turn on guidance the same panel issued two weeks ago.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the NHS would dish out invites “as soon as possible”, with the goal of getting the oldest teenagers protected before they return to classrooms in September.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said there was “no time to waste”.

He also laid the groundwork for ministers to expand the inoculation drive to all over-12s in the near future, saying that the JCVI would “continually review” the evidence. …

Pfizer’s vaccine has been linked to a rare side effect called myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle. Data from the U.S., which has been giving the jab to children for months, shows the complication affects one in 100,000 teenage boys after the first dose, but this rises to about one in 15,000 after the second dose.

Officials close to the programme said a child would be able to give consent for the jab if they were able to understand the risks and benefits of any medical treatment. …

Boris Johnson today called on families to listen to the advice from No 10’s top scientists, saying that the committee was “among the best in the world” and that the country should “take our lead from them”.

Professor Van-Tam… told a Downing Street press conference today that the first inoculations for 16 and 17 year-olds would be given “in a very short number of weeks”.

He said: “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.” …

More than eight in 10 Britons… support the move, polling suggests, including more than 50% of people who strongly support offering jabs to the younger age groups.

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: According to the ONS, nearly 80% of 16-24 year-olds have Covid antibodies. Why, then, do 16 and 17 year-olds need to be double jabbed? MailOnline has more.

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