Vaccines for children could start in August
Government ministers are said to be considering vaccines for children between August and September
They reported last month that Boris Johnson would need to decide on the matter, calling it a "political move" whether to make it a firm decision or advisory, and it looks as though the latter is the case.
A source inside Whitehall is said to have revealed that the latter is the case and, under current modelling, believes that “we would be ready” to begin vaccinating 12-15-year-olds by the second half of August, or early September at the latest.
Most under 30s are yet to receive a jab unless they are/in contact with someone high risk, so this suggests that the rollout is well on schedule.
The source added that ministers are awaiting advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which they expect will recommend the jab for younger teenagers before they make a final decision.
However, writing in The Telegraph, Matt Hancock warned that “a huge proportion of the latest cases are in children” - the super spreader label still holding - urging secondary school kids to take coronavirus tests before returning to school on Monday.
Officials are preparing for a roll-out of the Pfizer jab in schools at the start of the next academic year, after the MHRA approved the use of the Pfizer Covid vaccine in 12-15-year-olds. The move would essentially mirror how BCG injections were given to kids in secondary school, if you can remember them.
However, despite the milestone such as no new daily deaths being reported just four days ago, the government are still advising caution. As well as the Indian strain, a variant has now been identified in Nepal and could soon arrive back in the UK.
Hancock also stated: “The Delta variant, first identified in India, is more transmissible and now makes up the majority of new Covid cases in this country [...] the mission is to stay ahead in the race between virus and vaccine".
According to Public Health England (PHE), children aged ten and over are responsible for more than a quarter of recent Covid cases - the highest among all age groups - and, therefore, the government are looking to vaccinate them as soon as possible.
The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has also called for children to get tested before returning to school after the half-term break, stating: “Asymptomatic testing helps break chains of transmission by taking people who are infectious but don’t know it out of circulation [...] As the half term comes to an end, take a Covid test before going back to the classroom.”