Teens aged 16-17 years old will be allowed vaccine before new school term

Two vaccination walk-in centres - at Raphael House in the Victoria Centre and at Hornchurch Library

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that young people and the wider society will benefit from 16 - 17 years being allowed to receive vaccines. - Credit: PA

Young people aged between 16 and 17 years old will be able to get vaccinated without their parent's consent before schools reopen in September.

Health and Social Care secretary Sajid Javid accepted the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommendation and has asked the NHS to prepare to vaccinate 16 and 17-year-olds “as soon as possible”.


The Pfizer vaccine being administered. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Mr Javid said in a statement: “Today’s advice from the independent JCVI means more young people aged 16 and over can benefit from Covid-19 vaccines.

“I have accepted their expert recommendations and I have asked the NHS to prepare to vaccinate those eligible as soon as possible."

Health secretary Sajid Javid, who apologised for saying people had cowered in the face of Covid

Health and Social Care secretary Sajid Javid announced he accepts the JCVI's advice and has instructed the NHS to prepare to vaccinated eligible people. - Credit: Photo: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Covid-19 chair of the JCVI, said while wider society can benefit from teenagers being jabbed, the primary focus informing the new advice was the benefits to younger people.

“JCVI’s main focus is the balance of potential benefits and harms for the individuals being vaccinated," Mr Shen Lim said.

“Vaccination of children and young people can bring benefits to other people, such as adults and including parents and grandparents but, at the forefront, is the health and the benefits to children and young people themselves.”

Most Read

He denied it was a “missed opportunity” to start vaccinating those aged 12 to 15 in the same cohort as those aged 16 to 18 as the vulnerable in that group would already have been offered the vaccine.

Nurse Maria Alexiou preparing COVID vaccinations at the new mass vaccination centre at Connaught Hal

Professor Wei Shen Lim said that people aged 16 and above had the ability to consent for the vaccinations without gaining permission from their parents. - Credit: Danielle Booden

The professor also said that 16-year-olds were able to get the jab without parental consent.

“In the UK, a person who is 16 years and above is deemed able to consent for themselves, and if they are competent and able to consent for themselves then that consent holds,” he said.

Professor Wei Shen Lim added that the process should begin soon now the JCVI have advised 16 and 17-year-olds are eligible for vaccination.

"I would expect this programme will start in a very short number of weeks.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to restart the country's economy Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PA

The Prime Minister has urged the country to trust the advice of the JCVI. - Credit: PA

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "I think it's very important that everybody in politics listens first to the clinicians and the medical experts.

"I would just urge all families across the country to listen to the JCVI."