Sheffield GP backs calls to vaccinate more children against Covid

A Sheffield GP has backed calls to vaccinate vulnerable 12 to 15-year-olds against Covid instead of going for mass jabs for children and teenagers.
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Dr Ollie Hart clinical director of the Heeley Plus Primary Care Network, said this is because the benefit that comes with vaccinating children is "much less well known".

Government minister Robert Jenrick has suggested that the Covid vaccination programme for children could initially be restricted to those who have underlying health conditions or are about to turn 18.

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He said children aged 12 or over who live with vulnerable people would also be at the front of the queue once the approval is made.

Sheffield GP Dr Ollie HartSheffield GP Dr Ollie Hart
Sheffield GP Dr Ollie Hart

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is expected to release its advice on the matter soon amid splits between scientists and growing pressure for a decision.

Dr Hart said: "I think this is a good plan. The risk, which is the benefit of vaccination in children, is much less well known.

"We have done so well to vaccinate the most vulnerable. Keeping boosters up, as well as flu vaccines are our most important focus, and finishing two doses for all adults."

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Current advice is that 16 to 18-year-olds can be offered a Pfizer jab if they are in a priority group or live with someone who has a weakened immune system.

If the new recommendations are adopted, eligibility would be extended to healthy teenagers who are within three months of their 18th birthday, as well as younger vulnerable children and those living with vulnerable adults.