Do 16 and 17-year-olds need parental consent to get the Covid vaccine?

Coronavirus vaccines for 12 year olds 'under review' says Harden

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Vaccine eligibility is currently reserved for adults only in the UK, with everyone aged 18 and over now offered an opportunity for both doses. But despite earlier expert advice that anyone below this age group won’t need one, the Government has opted to extend it further. The upcoming eligible age brackets are 16 and 17-year-olds, the first children to receive the jab without a chronic illness.

Do 16 and 17-year-olds need permission to get the Covid vaccine?

The Covid vaccine programme will absorb 16 and 17-year-olds in the next few weeks.

The addition of the two age groups may have surprised some, but comes following research from the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI).

Their advice means 1.4 million teens could receive the Covid vaccine this month.

JCVI Covid-19 subcommittee chair Professor Wei Shen Lim said people in that “particular age group” can have “unpleasant effects”.

He added just one jab could effectively protect them from severe illness and hospitalisation.

Professor Lim added children wouldn’t need their parent’s permission to get the jab.

He said those aged 16 and over are “deemed able to consent for themselves”.

The Government has announced it has the supplies to back up the latest move.

Professor Jonathan Van Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said he wanted to get on with vaccinating as soon as possible.

He said the supply would allow people to start vaccinating the new age groups in a “very short number of weeks.”

The professor added there is “no time to waste” and that vaccinators must get started “as fast as possible.”

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One of the primary reasons behind the latest push is the proximity to new school terms.

While Covid cases are now dropping, infection rates may accelerate when schools return in a few weeks.

Younger people tend not to experience the worst side effects of the jab, and until now, officials reserved them for children with chronic illnesses.

Anyone over 12 living with a chronic illness that may make them vulnerable to the disease or someone else who is clinically susceptible can receive a jab.

The vast majority of severe Covid cases in children emerged in those with pre-existing conditions.

Chronic illnesses that make them eligible for the vaccine include those that cause immunosuppression or severe neurodisabilities.

When more data becomes available, the vaccine programme may open up to people over 12 without these conditions.

Professor Lim said while the JCVI can’t make that decision right now, the organisation wants to “protect them with vaccination as well.”

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