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UK gives go-ahead for coronavirus vaccination for some 5 to 11-year-olds

Shot in the arm: children as young as five may soon be able to get the coronavirus vaccine (Photograph supplied)

Children aged between 5 and 11 could get the Covid-19 vaccine after new recommendations by health watchdogs in the UK.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation in Britain said that children in the age group who were vulnerable should get the vaccine.

The advice covers youngsters in a clinical risk group or those in a household with someone of any age who has a weakened immune system.

Children will be offered two smaller doses of the Pfizer vaccine with a gap of eight weeks.

The committee added that a decision on whether the jab should be offered to all youngsters over the age of 5 was still under consideration.

One complication for wider use of the vaccine among the young is how best to administer smaller doses.

But newspaper reports in the UK speculated that youngsters could be given the green light for the jab early in the new year.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has already ruled that the Pfizer vaccine is safe for youngsters, with minimal side-effects.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, confirmed on Tuesday that the island had enough vaccine in stock to administer it to children.

She said: “As soon as the MHRA gives us the go-ahead we will be able to start administering it.”

Ms Wilson said that a large proportion of recent infections were found in children.

She added that children made up “one third of the fourth wave and quite a number were in the lower ages — nursery schools”.

Ms Wilson said: “We have seen quite a number of outbreaks within the school system.”

The health ministry did not respond to a request for comment on whether the vaccination programme would be extended to schoolchildren.

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Published December 23, 2021 at 11:04 am (Updated December 23, 2021 at 11:04 am)

UK gives go-ahead for coronavirus vaccination for some 5 to 11-year-olds

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