All over-16s in UK set to be offered Covid jabs

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Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is expected to announce the move today but it is not clear when the roll-out of the programme will begin, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

All 16 and 17-year-olds are set to be offered Covid-19 vaccine as the scientists are set to recommend the same soon, media reported.

An announcement from Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is expected on Wednesday but it is not clear when the roll-out of the programme will begin, the BBC reported.

The JCVI stopped short of making the move last month, saying it was still assessing the benefits and risks.

Jabs are only offered now to those over-12s who have underlying conditions or live with others at high risk. But some countries, including the US, Canada and France, are routinely vaccinating people aged 12 year olds and over.

The ministers in England are expected to accept the advice of the JCVI, the BBC reported citing Whitehall sources.

It comes after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday that she was “hoping” to receive updated advice from the JCVI on the vaccination of 16 and 17-year-olds.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (WIKIPEDIA)

Sturgeon said the UK’s four chief medical officers had written to the JCVI, asking them to look again at vaccination advice for young people.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sturgeon confirmed that most of the remaining Covid-19 restrictions in the region will be lifted on August 9.

Most Covid-19 restrictions in England have already been lifted last month as part of the final step of the British government’s roadmap out of the lockdown.

But unlike England, face coverings in shops and on public transport in Scotland will continue to be mandatory for some time to come.

“While this move will restore a substantial degree of normality, it is important to be clear that it does not signal the end of the pandemic or a return to life exactly as we knew it before Covid struck,” Sky News quoted Sturgeon as saying.

“Declaring freedom from, or victory over, this virus is premature. The harm the virus can do, including through the impact of long Covid, should not be underestimated. And its ability to mutate may yet pose us real challenges,” she added.

Decisions on vaccinations are based on recommendations from the independent JCVI. Ministers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland each then approve the plans.

The only Covid jab currently authorised in the UK for under-18s is the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

In July, the JCVI extended its recommendation on Covid jabs to children aged over 12 who are at higher risk of getting ill and to those on the verge of turning 18. But said it would not extend the roll-out as it examined reports of rare adverse events such as inflammation of heart muscles among young adults, it was reported.

Death toll rises

UK recorded another 138 coronavirus-related deaths, the highest daily total since March 17, according to official figures released on Tuesday.

The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 129,881. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test, Xinhua reported.

The country also reported another 21,691 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 5,923,820.

More than 88 per cent of adults in Britain have received the first jab of Covid-19 vaccine and more than 73 per cent have received two doses, according to the latest figures.

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