The UK will expand its vaccination program to young people aged 12 to 15 vulnerable to COVID-19, the UK government said Monday, sharply criticizing the impact on young people of the lifting of restrictions that took effect Monday.
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Currently, young people over the age of 16 can be vaccinated if they are clinically extremely vulnerable or at high risk due to an underlying disease.
The vaccination program will now be extended to “young people between the ages of 12 and 15 with severe neurological impairment, Down syndrome, immunocompromised immunity, and severe or multiple mental disorders,” Parliamentary Secretary Nadhim Zahavi told State Immunization Officer.
He added that children 12-17 years old who come into contact with immunocompromised people in their homes will also be worried, as well as 17-year-olds in the three months leading up to their 18th birthday.
The vaccine will be a Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine approved by the UK regulator for children over 12 years of age.
The decision follows the recommendation of the commission responsible for advising the government on the rollout of the vaccination program, which has allowed a second dose to be administered to 68.5% of the adult population since December.
The Commission does not recommend vaccinating anyone under 18 years of age without underlying health problems at this stage, Health Minister Sajid Javid said in a statement, but continues to study “new evidence” and “will consider recommending vaccination for people under 18 years of age without underlying health concerns in the future.” …
The announcement comes at a time when most of the latest restrictions have been lifted in England, and this decision is condemned by many scientists, who, in particular, have long denounced the risk of COVID among young people who have not yet been vaccinated.
Among the hardest hit countries in Europe, where more than 128,700 people have died, the UK has recently registered more than 50,000 new cases every day, due to the more contagious variant of Delta.
Infected, albeit fully vaccinated, Health Minister Sajid Javid is currently in solitary confinement, as are Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak, both of whom have been in contact with him.
Faced with a dramatic increase in the number of self-isolating contacts, some important workers, such as railroad workers or air traffic controllers, will receive benefits to enable them to work, provided they receive a second dose for at least two years. weeks, Zahavi said.