February 16, 2022 5.00 pm

COVID vaccines to be offered to five to 11-year-olds in England

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid confirms plans

Children in England aged 5-11 are made a “non-urgent” offer of the COVID-19 vaccination, the government’s health secretary has confirmed.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is currently expected to announce its advice to offer the vaccine to the age group later this month and Scotland and Wales have already confirmed their intentions to make the offer.

In a statement this afternoon, Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I have accepted the advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to make a non-urgent offer of COVID-19 vaccines to all children aged five to 11 in England.”

At-risk children and those who live with immunosuppressed people in the age group are already offered vaccines.

Mr Javid said a thorough review by the independent medicines regulator, the MHRA, had already approved Pfizer’s paediatric vaccine as safe and effective for children aged five to 11.

“Children without underlying health conditions are at low risk of serious illness from COVID-19 and the priority remains for the NHS to offer vaccines and boosters to adults and vulnerable young people, as well as to catch-up with other childhood immunisation programmes,” he said.

“The NHS will prepare to extend this non-urgent offer to all children during April so parents can, if they want, take up the offer to increase protection against potential future waves of COVID-19 as we learn to live with this virus.”

According to the government’s latest vaccination data, 91.3% of the UK has had their first dose, with 84.9% getting a second jab and 65.9% opting for a booster.

In Lincolnshire 81.6% of people are double-jabbed while 67.3% have had their booster.

Vaccination uptake in the 12-15-year-olds currently sits at 64.6%, rising to 76.6% for 16-17-year-olds and 78.9% in 18-24-year-olds.

In North East Lincolnshire 78.1% have had two doses and 59.7% have had three.

Around 52% of 12-15-year-olds have taken up the vaccine, moving up to 68.8% and 74.1% for 16-17 and 18-24-year olds.

Finally, in North Lincolnshire, 79.8% of people have had their second dose and 43.9% their third.

The data shows that 60.4% have taken up the jab in 12-15-year-olds along with 73.4% of 16-17-year-olds. Around 75.2% of 18-24-year-olds have been dosed.