politics

Give Covid vaccine to children, says Gavin Williamson



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Cabinet minister has piled pressure on scientists to give the go-ahead for Covid-19 jabs for children.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson stressed that as a parent he would like to be able to choose whether his children get the innoculation.

He said the NHS was ready to send health staff into schools to deliver the jabs.

However, asked if the JCVI should get a “wiggle on” about decisions on booster and jabs for children, Mr Williamson told Sky News: “Speaking as a parent myself, I think parents would find it incredibly reassuring to know that they had a choice as to whether their child would be vaccinated or not.”

Pressed on whether the focus should be on delivering a booster programme for adults or jabs for children and young adults, the Cabinet minister added: “We have got the capacity to be able to deliver vaccinations for children as well as to deliver a booster programme.

“So it’s not an either/or.

“It’s a situation about making sure that we combat this virus as best as possible.

“And we are ready. If we get the get-go from JCVI we are ready, the NHS which has been so successful in rolling out this programme of vaccination, is ready to go into schools and deliver that vaccination programme for children.”

People with conditions such as leukaemia, advanced HIV and recent organ transplants who are over the age of 12 will be given a third jab following a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the Government was continuing to plan for a booster programme to begin this month and said people most at-risk from Covid-19 would be prioritised for that.

The JCVI said it was still deliberating on the potential benefits of booster vaccines for the rest of the population and was awaiting further evidence to inform its decision.



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