Following new advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), many at risk young people will soon be able to get vaccinated.
Speaking about the change in guidance, Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: "Today’s advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) means more vulnerable young people at greatest risk from this virus can now benefit from COVID-19 vaccines.
"I have accepted their expert recommendations and I have asked the NHS to prepare to vaccinate those eligible as soon as possible.
"Young people aged 12 to 15 with severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities, as well as people who are household contacts of individuals who are immunosuppressed, will be eligible for vaccination soon.
"Our independent medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for people aged 12 and over as it meets their robust standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.
"Today’s advice does not recommend vaccinating under-18s without underlying health conditions at this point in time. But the JCVI will continue to review new data, and consider whether to recommend vaccinating under-18s without underlying health conditions at a future date.
"COVID-19 vaccines have saved almost 37,000 lives and prevented around 11.7 million infections in England alone. They are building a wall of defence and are the best way to protect people from serious illness. I encourage everybody who is eligible to get their jabs as soon as they can."
💉 Vulnerable 12-15 year olds will be eligible for vaccination from COVID following new advice from the JCVI— Ben Everitt (@Ben_Everitt) July 19, 2021
➡️ This includes people with severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilitieshttps://t.co/SfuWalI4dV
The local vaccination programme has resulted in some promising figures. As of today (19/07), 181,767 local people have had their first dose of the vaccine while 133,817 people are now fully vaccinated.
Anyone over the age of 18 can now book their vaccine appointment, and you can do so by clicking here.