EVERY Brit aged over 18 is set to be offered a Covid vaccine in just weeks amid fears the Indian variant is being transmitted by teens ahead of the June 21 unlocking.
As it stands only adults aged 30 and over have been invited to get their jabs as health leaders focus their efforts on making sure older people have received both doses.
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However it now seems officials are planning to offer jabs to all age groups following concerns the new Indian strain is spread quickly among youngsters.
Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health for Blackburn and Darwen, warned of an “exceptionally high rate” among teenagers aged 17 and 18.
He is now urging ministers to licence the vaccine for youngsters to help protect communites across the UK.
He told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: “We desperately need the UK Government, the MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency] to pass the Pfizer vaccine as safe and effective for that age group.
It comes as:
- Boris Johnson urged to ‘get on with it’ and lift lockdown on June 21
- Kids to be offered 100million hours of extra tuition over three years
- Join Jabs Army and win the fight for freedom on June 21
- 65 MILLION Covid jab doses given to Brits
- UK records ZERO Covid deaths for the first time since pandemic began
“Now the USA, Canada, Singapore and the European Union have all in the last week said that's Pfizer BioNTechvaccine is safe and effective for 12 years and above and I just hope the UK Government can get on with passing that, assuming that they agree that we could then get into rapid vaccination for that cohort, before the end of term.
“Because that would help not just with protecting the whole population through an increased number of people vaccinated, but reducing transmission in that group.”
Professor Danny Altmann, one of the UK’s leading immunologists, backed up Mr Harrison’s request and said vaccinating teens young stop “hubs” of infections in schools.
It comes as Boris Johnson was urged to "get on with it" and lift lockdown on June 21 – amid warnings the UK could otherwise face economic ruin and a spiralling health crisis.
Tory grandee Sir Iain Duncan Smith has told the PM to ignore Nicola Sturgeon and "nervous scientists" and plough ahead with 'Freedom Day' as planned.
'GET ON WITH IT'
It comes as top scientists are urging Mr Johnson to push back his plans to unlock Britain as the Indian mutation spreads through the country.
While yesterday Sturgeon piled on further pressure by setting back the lockdown easing in Scotland.
But the UK recorded zero deaths on Tuesday for the first time since the pandemic began, even as the number of people newly-infected with the virus rose.
The news provides more hope that the vaccines are severing the link between infections, hospitalisations and deaths.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the jabs are "clearly working" – but warned: "Despite this undoubtedly good news, we know we haven't beaten this virus yet."
However, top Tories say the PM must not blindly follow Scotland's lead.
Former Tory leader Sir Iain told Mr Johnson it "is not a competition".
He told the Telegraph: "Let her [Sturgeon] play her games. The truth is that the Government here has to do what's right for the population of England.
"This is not a competition. If the evidence doesn't stack up, you get on with it [unlocking]."
And he said he has a "horrible feeling" stage four won't go ahead – because "everyone is very jittery" in the wake of Dominic Cummings' evidence about the Government response.
Urging ministers to "go ahead with June 21", he said many are listening to "nervous" scientists "peddling assumptions".
"They keep saying: 'We're going to listen to the science'," he said.
"But they're not – they're listening to the scientists. The science is what you make of it. We haven't seen any uptick in hospitalisations."
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