The UK’s vaccine keeper is expected to decide on Thursday on a Covid booster vaccine program, with ministers hoping approval for vaccination for children aged 12-15 you can follow imminently.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Vaccination (JCVI) is scheduled to meet on Thursday to examine the interim results from the Cov-Boost study, which looks at the impact of one in seven vaccines. different as the third dose, on either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca Vaccines.
The research, led by the University of Southampton, is seen as a key element in the JCVI’s deliberations, with the government ready to start an immediate jabs-wide booster program if approved.
Some scientists say there is limited evidence for the effectiveness of these jabs beyond people with clinical vulnerabilities, despite countries like Israel advancing with boosters across the population.
It is understood that JCVI members will not be shown any material for the meeting until late Wednesday, in an attempt to prevent leaks.
One week ago, the JCVI approved the use of the third vaccine for half a million people with severely weakened immune systems, although it was presented as a separate for a formal booster program.
Ministers are also awaiting news of 12- to 15-year-olds, after the JCVI said on Friday that evidence of the clinical benefits of vaccinating this group of age was not strong enough to recommend it.
The committee instead suggested ministers asking the four leading medical officers of the UK nations to examine broader factors such as the potential impact of disruption to schools.
Javid said on Wednesday that he expects a decision on the children to come from the four top UK medical officers in a few days.
He told Sky News: “I want to give them a breather, it’s their independent view and that’s exactly what it should be. But I expect to hear from them in the coming days.”
He said consent is sought from the parents of children between the ages of 12 and 15 as “for decades”, but if the children and their parents cannot agree, then the child’s opinion takes precedence as long as they are competent enough to decide.
He said: “If there is a difference of opinion between the child and the parent then we have specialists working in this field, the school vaccination service. They usually literally sit down with the parent and the parent. child, and try to reach some kind of consent.
“If in the end this does not work, as long as we believe the child is competent enough to make this decision then the child will prevail.”
Javid also said he was “very confident” that the UK would have a booster program so that older adults could receive a third jab.
He told Sky News: “In terms of who actually takes it and when, we are awaiting final advice that could meet, certainly, in the coming days from the JCVI.”
He said the advice was expected to include information on whether people should get different vaccines than they already have, adding: “I’m confident we can start the booster program this month.”