The UK’s medicines regulator has accepted the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds.
The Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company (MHRA) stated the choice adopted a “rigorous overview” of security and effectiveness in that age group – and that the advantages of getting the COVID jab outweighed the dangers.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will now advise whether or not routine vaccination needs to be provided to these aged 12 to 17.
Commenting on the event on Friday, Matt Hancock confirmed that the UK has “sufficient provide” to supply the jab to older kids ought to the JCVI deem it “the clinically suggested factor to do”.
The well being secretary stated: “I welcome the choice by the impartial regulator that the vaccine is protected and efficient for youngsters from the age of 12 upwards.
“We’ll take scientific recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on how that needs to be taken ahead, after which we’ll comply with that scientific recommendation.
“We have now sufficient provide to have the ability to vaccinate kids ought to that be the clinically suggested factor to do.
“We now have a vaccine that is accepted for using kids aged 12 and over, however I wish to ensure that that is all accomplished following scientific recommendation, to ensure that we get this nation out of this pandemic as safely as we are able to.”
Dr June Raine, MHRA chief govt, stated: “We have now in place a complete security surveillance technique for monitoring the security of all UK-approved COVID-19 vaccines and this surveillance will embrace the 12- to 15-year age group.”
The Division for Well being and Social Care added that it’ll proceed to be “guided by the knowledgeable advisors”.
The Pfizer/BioNTech jab was accepted to be used within the UK for 16 and 17-year-olds in December 2020.
The JCVI’s present recommendation is that these aged 16 to 18 needs to be provided vaccination if they’re in a precedence Part 1 group or they’re the family contacts of somebody who’s immunosuppressed.
There is no such thing as a routine vaccination of underneath 18s at the moment underneath manner.
Greater than 2,000 kids have been concerned within the scientific trial to find out the security of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the chairman of the Fee on Human Medicines stated.
Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed stated based mostly on the information, the vaccine’s advantages “do outweigh any danger”.
He added out of the two,000 kids studied as a part of the randomised, placebo-controlled scientific trials, there have been no circumstances of COVID-19 from seven days after the second dose, in contrast with 16 circumstances within the placebo group.
As well as, knowledge on neutralising antibodies confirmed the vaccine working on the identical degree as seen in adults aged 16-25 years.
“These are extraordinarily optimistic outcomes,” he stated.
In the meantime, Mr Hancock reiterated that it’s “very early” to deem whether or not the 21 June lockdown easing date will go forward.
The well being secretary stated: “It is too early to decide in regards to the step that may occur not earlier than the 21 June – we’re wanting on the knowledge each single day, and we’ll decide and publish it later on this month.”
He added: “An important knowledge that we’re searching for forward of creating the choice about whether or not we are able to go forward with step 4 on the 21 June is how efficient the vaccine has been in breaking the hyperlink from circumstances to hospitalisations and deaths.
“We all know that the vaccine works and has diminished by a protracted lengthy margin your chance of ending up in hospital and even worse of dying from COVID, we all know that it is efficient – we wish to see in the true world knowledge simply how efficient it’s.
“As a result of we have seen the variety of circumstances go up – we all the time anticipated that to occur – and we have not seen an increase within the variety of individuals going to hospital in the identical manner.
“And we simply wish to see how efficient the vaccine is at stopping what was an inevitable hyperlink from the rise in circumstances to the rise in hospitalisations.
“We’re wanting very very rigorously on the knowledge and we’ll say extra after we know extra.”