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Experts have recommended that some children should be offered Covid jabs to protect them against the pandemic ahead of winter, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi has said.
He said that the recommendation includes children who are almost 18, vulnerable to Covid or live with people who are clinically vulnerable.
But whether to jab healthy children aged 12-17 will be “kept under review”.
Mr Zahawi will make a statement to Parliament later today.
He said the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) – the committee of UK vaccine experts which advises the government on the best approach – had given the recommendations to ministers, who would consider them on Monday morning.
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 accepted, the new recommendations would extend eligibility to healthy teenagers who are within three months of their 18th birthday, as well as younger vulnerable children and those living with vulnerable adults.
Mr Zahawi said there is “good data from America” on giving a first dose to healthy children, but there’s a gap until those same children get their second dose, so the JCVI is keeping the issue under review.
He said there was concern about very rare cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that has been seen in younger people.
The Pfizer vaccine is licensed to use in people aged 12 and above.

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