England undecided on following Wales in offering 5-11 year old Covid vaccines
The UK Government have said that no decision has yet been made on following Wales and offering children aged 5-11 years old Covid vaccines in England.
Wales’ Health Minister Eluned Morgan announced yesterday that she planned of following the advice of the government’s scientific advisors on vaccinations, the JCVI, and push forward with jabbing 5-11 year olds.
However, the UK Government have said that they will review the JCVI’s advice before coming to a decision.
A spokesperson said: “No decisions have been made by ministers on the universal offer of a Covid-19 vaccine to all five- to 11-year-olds. We are committed to reviewing the JCVI’s advice as part of wider decision-making ahead of the publication of our long-term strategy for living with Covid-19.”
Speaking in the Senedd yesterday, Eluned Morgan said she said that she was waiting for the go-ahead from the government’s vaccines watchdog, the JCVI, which she believed was imminent.
“Just in terms of the timetable for five to 11-year-olds, we’re obviously waiting for that formal advice to come from the JCVI. I’m not quite sure what’s holding it up,” she said.
“We know that it’s available, and it’s important that we are able to forge ahead with our plans.
“Obviously, we thought that that might be coming our way, so a huge amount of preparation work has already been undertaken, but we can’t really press the button finally on it until we have the final JCVI publication that we’re hoping to see imminently.”
Wales was the first nation in the UK to confirm that they would be vaccinating 5-11 years olds. Eluned Morgan later confirmed the move in a statement.
“I have received the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) final advice about Covid-19 vaccination for children aged five to 11 who are not considered to be at clinical risk,” she said.
“Children in this age group who are classed as being at clinical risk are already being offered the vaccine and more than one in four have already taken up the offer of vaccination.
“The JCVI advice will be published in due course. I have accepted this advice and thank the JCVI for scrutinising the science and evidence and setting out its advice in a careful and considered way. Our intention, as it has been from the start of the pandemic, is to follow the clinical and scientific evidence.
“In accepting this advice, I will be asking the health boards to consider carefully the issue of equity within their operational planning. We will work closely with Public Health Wales and the health boards to ensure there is age-appropriate factual and trusted information about the potential benefits and risks of vaccination for this age range.
“I would encourage all families with children between the ages of five and 11, who are not in any clinical at risk groups, to visit the Public Health Wales website for information about vaccination and to begin a conversation about whether they want to take up this offer.
“We will be publishing an update of our Vaccination Strategy next week, which will set out further detail about the offer, once the JCVI advice is published.
“Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill health. They prevent up to three million deaths worldwide every year.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.