Pupils could be offered vaccine from September
Secondary school pupils could be offered coronavirus vaccinations from as early as September, according to a report by The Sunday Times.
The NHS is said to be considering offering the jab to children above the age of 12 at the beginning of the next academic year.
The Sunday Times says it has confirmed this information with both government and NHS sources.
Pfizer is one of a number of drug companies testing their vaccines on children.
The primary objective behind vaccinating them would be to keep schools open.
Initial trials of the Pfizer vaccine in children aged 12 to 15 demonstrated a 100% efficacy and a strong immune response.
The results, based on 2,260 adolescents, suggest the vaccine is safe.
No unusual side-effects were reported.
Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation member Professor Adam Finn, told the Times:
“We need to be in a position to immunise children, particularly teenagers, promptly and efficiently if we need to.
“It is extremely important that education in the next academic year is not disrupted in any way.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care added:
“No decisions have been made on whether children should be offered vaccinations and we will be guided by the experts once clinical trials have concluded.
“As we’ve already said, we are preparing for a booster programme to take place from the autumn and we continue to plan for all scenarios.”
Authorities are already on track to offer the vaccine to all adults by the end of July.
The child-vaccination scheme is dependent on official advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which is due this summer.