Parents 'need clear plan' over giving Covid vaccines to kids going back to school

PARENTS must get a clear plan from government experts over giving Covid jabs to children heading back to the classroom, Tory MPs say.

They are demanding the position over jabbing 12 to 15-year-olds is announced swiftly as most schools will re-open in the coming days.

The NHS is making contingency plans and recruiting thousands of vaccinators for schools, with space in sports halls being cleared.

But the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is yet to make a decision on giving jabs to this younger age group.

Education Select Committee chairman Robert Halfon yesterday said: “It’s absolutely vital we have clear guidance from the JCVI to parents.

“If the decision to go-ahead is given, I would like to see an open letter from Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty to parents who can then make an informed decision on what is best for their children.”

Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake said: “It’s important that the JCVI come to a clear and firm position.

“Their decisions have had widespread respect all the way through the pandemic. But families will need clarity.”

Children aged 12 to 15 who are at “increased risk” or live with someone at risk are already being offered the vaccine.

Meanwhile, Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, which advises ministers, says Covid protection could extend beyond the classroom.

He said: “When schools go back, parents tend to return to work and mix in other environments. So if we have high levels of vaccination across younger age groups, it should provide both direct and indirect protection.”

There were 133 Covid deaths reported yesterday, up from 100 on Friday.

Positive cases dropped to 32,406, down on the 38,046 the day before.

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