Britain’s vaccine officials advise 5- to 11-year-olds to get COVID-19 shots

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Britain’s vaccine officials on Wednesday advised that all children aged 5-11 should be offered COVID-19 shots, paving the way for a wider rollout of vaccines in children in a decision that has been taken more slowly than in some other countries.

British Health Minister Sajid Javid said he would accept the advice for England.

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Britain has offered COVID-19 shots to vulnerable children, but has been slower than the likes of the United States and Israel in offering the vaccine to all 5- to 11-year-olds.

“The main purpose of offering vaccination to 5-11 year olds is to increase their protection against severe illness in advance of a potential future wave of COVID-19,” Wei Shen Lim, Chair of the COVID-19 immunization on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) said.

The JCVI said that there was a non-urgent offer of the Pfizer BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for the age group, with at least 12 weeks between doses.

All four nations of the UK have followed JCVI guidance on the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. Scotland and Wales had already said it would accept JCVI advice in favor of vaccination for children aged 5-11.

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