Moderna coronavirus vaccine authorised for 12 to 17-year-olds in the UK

Kevin Mckeon, 14, receives his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
Kevin Mckeon, 14, receives his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine

The Department of Health has asked the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation for a formal recommendation

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The Moderna coronavirus vaccine has been authorised for people in the UK aged between 12 and 17, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said.

The regulator said it is up to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to advise the Government on whether children in this age group should be given the Moderna jab.

Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: “I am pleased to confirm that that the Covid-19 vaccine made by Moderna has now been authorised in 12 to 17-year-olds. The vaccine is safe and effective in this age group.

“We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all UK-approved Covid-19 vaccines and this surveillance will include the 12 to 17-year age group.

“It is for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to advise on whether this age group should be vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine made by Moderna as part of the deployment programme.”

A total of 156,307 deaths have occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

The highest number on a single day was 1,484 on January 19.

During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 on April 8 2020.

The Department of Health has asked the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation for a formal recommendation on whether to give the Moderna jab to 12 to 17-year-olds.

A spokesperson for the department said: “We welcome the news that Moderna’s vaccine has been approved as safe and effective for people aged 12 and over.

“As has been the case with all other approvals, we will now be guided by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and have asked for its formal recommendation on whether to administer this vaccine to people aged 12 to 17.

“All young people aged 16 to 17, clinically vulnerable children aged 12 to 15 and people who live with adults who are immunosuppressed will be offered a first dose of a Pfizer jab by Monday 23 August.”