COVID-19 UPDATE: Some children aged 12-17 to be offered the Pfizer vaccine

The government has announced plans to vaccinate certain groups of children and young people aged 12-17 following the advice given by The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Five young boy sitting in a row smiling at the camera

The JCVI recommends that the following groups are to be offered the Pfizer the vaccine:

  • Children aged 12 to 15 with severe neurodisabilities, Down’s syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities
  • Children and young people aged 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed person to indirectly protect their immunosuppressed household contacts, who are at higher risk of serious disease from COVID-19

In addition to the above groups, the young people without any underlying health conditions who are within three months from their 18th birthday are now also eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

The JCVI recommendation comes after it reviewed the limited available evidence on the vaccination of children and young people under the age of 18 and concluded that the minimal health benefits that the vaccination of all children against COVID-19 would offer do not outweigh the potential risks.

Therefore, only those who are at risk or live with a person at risk of serious disease from COVID-19, should be offered the vaccine at this stage, although this will be kept under review until more data becomes available for evaluation.