Children in Britain will start receiving a COVID-19 vaccine as early as August under provisional government plans to push for maximum national immunity from the coronavirus according to reports in the Daily Telegraph this morning

That timeline would be months earlier than expected, the newspaper said citing two sources involved in the plans.

Government officials are waiting on the findings from a child vaccine study being run by Oxford University on the vaccine it has developed with AstraZeneca Plc before making a final decision on the rollout.

The Telegraph report said safety data from the study of 300 volunteers aged between 6 and 17 was expected shortly, with conclusions due in June or July. Oxford University did not give a date for the completion of the study at the time of its launch last month.

However Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), told Good Morning Britain: “As far as I know there has been no decision made to immunise children starting in August, or indeed any decision been taken to immunise children at all at this point.

“But it’s certainly something that we might need to do.”

A clinical trial has begun of the Oxford vaccine on children, but Professor Finn said we will need to do “more than one study”.

“If it does turn out to be necessary to immunise children, I think it is more likely that we would prioritise teenagers over younger children, simply because the evidence we have at the moment is that transmission of the virus is more likely to occur from and between teenagers who are a little bit more like adults,” he said.


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