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Derbyshire children between 5 and 11 to be offered Covid-19 vaccine

Children aged between five and 11 in Derbyshire will be offered a Covid-19 vaccine following a review of medical advice by the government.

Health minister Sajid Javid said that he had been advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to update the vaccine guidance, meaning all children aged 5-11 in England can get a jab.

It comes after Scotland and Wales both changed their guidance to offer 5-to-11-year-olds the vaccine earlier this week, with both devolved governments saying that draft advice from the JCVI would be accepted.

The NHS already offers 5-to-11-year-olds who are deemed at risk of serious illness, or who live with immunosuppressed people.

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Mr Javid, the Health and Social Care Secretary, said: “I have accepted the advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to make a non-urgent offer of Covid-19 vaccines to all children aged five to 11 in England.

“The NHS is already offering vaccines to at-risk children and those who live with immunosuppressed people in this age group.

“The JCVI advice follows a thorough review by our independent medicines regulator, the MHRA, which approved Pfizer’s paediatric vaccine as safe and effective for children aged five to 11.

“Children without underlying health conditions are at low risk of serious illness from COVID-19 and the priority remains for the NHS to offer vaccines and boosters to adults and vulnerable young people, as well as to catch-up with other childhood immunisation programmes.

“The NHS will prepare to extend this non-urgent offer to all children during April so parents can, if they want, take up the offer to increase protection against potential future waves of COVID-19 as we learn to live with this virus.”

While not compulsory, parents will be encouraged to get their children vaccinated and plans are being made so that health bodies can deliver the shots across England.

It comes as the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is expected to announce widespread changes on how the country moves to live with the pandemic later this month.

Mr Johnson has previously hinted that all measures could be dropped a month earlier than the planned date of March 24, if cases continue to fall and vaccine take up increases.

He is expected to announce his plans when Parliament reconvenes from its recess after the February half term.

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