Covid vaccine: At-risk children aged 5-11 'should be offered jab,' government advisors say

ITV News Correspondent Geraint Vincent meets one family for whom the new guidance will be life changing

Children aged between five and 11 who are clinically at risk or live with someone who is immunosuppressed should be offered a Covid vaccine, government advisers have said.

As the Omicron variant of Covid continues to spread widely in the UK, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) published its new advice on Wednesday.

Children should be offered a third of the total adult dose across two Pfizer jabs, eight weeks apart, the advice says. Further guidance around vaccination for other children aged five-11 will be issued in the near future, the JCVI adds.

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Professor Wei Shen Lim, chair of Covid-19 immunisation at the JCVI, said: “The majority of children aged five to 11 are at very low risk of serious illness due to Covid-19.

“However, some five to 11-year-olds have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk, and we advise these children to be vaccinated in the first instance.

“For children and young people who have completed a primary course of vaccination, a booster dose will provide added protection against the Omicron variant.”

Separately, the JCVI has advised that booster vaccinations should be offered to:

  • People aged 16 to 17;

  • People aged 12 to 15 who are in a clinical risk group or who are a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed;

  • People aged 12 to 15 who are severely immunocompromised and who have had a third primary dose.

17-year-old festival-goer Tamsin Bunce getting a vaccine jab at a walk-in Covid-19 vaccination clinic at the Reading Festival.

The advice comes as the UK recorded its highest ever number of daily reported Covid cases.

More than 100,000 new cases were reported across the country on Wednesday - the first time the figure has topped that mark.

The Prime Minister has said no new Covid restrictions will be brought in in England before Christmas.

Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are already rolling out tougher rules (to come in after Christmas) to try and limit the spread.