Britain is likely to press ahead with vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds, ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson claimed today.
The Government scientific adviser — whose modelling spooked ministers into the initial lockdown in March — said he expects Chris Whitty to approve jabs for teens this week.
The Government’s vaccine advisory panel on Friday said it would not recommend jabs for children because Covid poses such a low risk to their health.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) — which is independent of Government — has now left the decision with Professor Whitty and the three other chief medical officers (CMOs) in the devolved nations.
They will meet this week to decide whether the broader societal benefits — including keeping schools open during winter — tip the balance in favour of jabbing children, with a decision expected by Friday. Speaking at an online conference, Professor Ferguson said: ‘On balance, I think we will probably move to vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds.
‘The question becomes even finer going into younger age groups (under-12s), but focusing on teenage secondary school children — I think we will move in that direction.’
He added: ‘It would not surprise me if the chief medical officers… would decide to go forward with vaccination (of 12 to 15-year-olds).’ Professor Whitty suggested in July that he would be in favour of jabbing children to prevent further school closures.