Sixteen and 17-year-olds have insisted that they will get the Covid-19 vaccination when they become eligible, regardless of their parents’ opinions.
It has been revealed that 16 and 17-year-olds won’t need parental consent to get Covid vaccines, while No 10’s top scientists have hinted children as young as 12 could be offered jabs later this year.
And 16 and 17-year-olds in Manchester have said that they plan to get the Covid vaccine as soon as they are eligible – even if their parents do not agree with them.
One 16-year-old said he is planning to get the Covid jab so he won’t have to ‘worry’ about getting the virus, and criticised his ‘naïve’ parents for choosing not to get vaccinated.
Clayton Murdock, 16, slammed his parents for being ‘naïve’ in not getting vaccinated themselves, but insisted that will not stop him from getting the Covid jab
Meanwhile, another teenager said he would get the Covid vaccine so he can go to gigs next year, while one 17-year-old said she was hoping to bag a ‘free kebab’ for getting vaccinated.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended the 1.4million youngsters should be offered Pfizer jabs, marking a U-turn on guidance the same panel issued two weeks ago.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the NHS would dish out invites for vaccines ‘as soon as possible’, with the goal of getting the oldest teenagers protected before they return to classrooms in September.
Clayton Murdock, 16, slammed his parents for being ‘naïve’ in not getting vaccinated themselves, but insisted that will not stop him from getting the Covid jab.
He continued: ‘I’m definitely for taking the Covid vaccine. If it’s helping people then I’m all for it.
‘I’ve heard though that it’s killing people but I don’t care as long as it’s helping people.
Amy Blackshaw, 16, expressed her concerns that some women have complained about missing their periods after getting the jab, but said she would get the vaccine to keep others safe
‘I’d take it so I could go out and not worry about getting the virus. My parents haven’t had it, but that’s because they are naïve.’
Elsewhere, Amy Blackshaw, 16, expressed her concerns that some women have complained about missing their periods and getting ‘swollen’ breasts after getting the jab.
But she said that despite her belief that people should be told ‘what’s going to happen’ after getting the jab, she still plans to get the vaccine in a bid to keep other people safe.
She explained: ‘I’d love to take the vaccine, but I’ve heard women saying that their boobs are swelling and that they’re missing their periods from it and it’s a shame that women’s mental health isn’t taken into account, but I’d still take the vaccine anyway because it’s important.
‘I think when you take it, you should be told what’s going to happen. I don’t think people are told enough what can happen.
‘I’d take it to be safe for other people.’
Meanwhile, Annie Sawbridge, 17, said she too wants to get vaccinated, sharing her hopes that she might be able to bag a free Uber or a free kebab if she is double vaccinated.
Annie said that her father is already double vaccinated, while her mother has had her first vaccine, and she plans to join them in getting the Covid jab as soon as she is eligible.
She added: ‘I would take the vaccine. I’ve heard you can get a free Uber or a free kebab out of it, so I’d get it and hope for a free kebab.
‘I’d take it to keep people safe.’
Another teenager whose parents have opted to get the Covid vaccine is 17-year-old Freddie Wakeling, who said he is one of the only people in his family not to have been vaccinated yet.
He said that while he is in no rush to get the vaccine, as he is not clinically vulnerable, he wants to get the jab when he can so he is able to attend gigs and other events next year.
Meanwhile, Annie Sawbridge, 17, said she wants to get the Covid jab, sharing her hopes that she might be able to bag a free Uber or a free kebab if she is double vaccinated
One teenager whose parents have opted to get the Covid jab is 17-year-old Freddie Wakeling, who said he is one of the only people in his family not to have been vaccinated yet
He explained: ‘It’s something I would take if I was offered it, but as I’m not particularly vulnerable, I’m not in any hurry to get it.
‘The main reason I want to get it is from fears of not being able to do things in the future especially with big public events with gigs and that kind of thing.
‘That’s something I don’t want to miss out on, especially next year because I’ve got a few booked now.
‘I’m pretty much the only person in my family not to be vaccinated yet, but that’s only because I’ve not been eligible.’
Evan Cooper, 17, has already had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, which he got in a bid to protect his grandparents and to allow him to go on holiday with his friends.
Evan said he could not afford to pay for the PCR tests required before going abroad, so decided to get the Covid jab so he was able to go on holiday.
He added: ‘I’m double vaccinated but the main reason I took it was because I’m going on holiday with some friends and if I don’t have it, then the PCR tests are really expensive and I’m young as it is, so I can’t really afford it, so I took it for that reason and to protect my grandparents.
‘Both of my parents are double vaccinated, my sister is 22 and she has had her first vaccine.’
Michael Hale, 16, said he has already had Covid and would choose to get the vaccine when he is eligible, adding: ‘I think it’s about safety. I’ve already had Covid, so I shouldn’t get it for a while, but I think you need to take into account other people.
‘My parents have both been vaccinated.’
The teenagers’ eagerness to get the vaccine comes after it was announced that 16 and 17-year-olds won’t need parental consent to get Covid jabs.
Evan Cooper, 17, has already had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, which he decided to get in a bid to protect his grandparents and to enable him to go on holiday with his friends
Michael Hale, 16, said he has already had Covid and would choose to get the vaccine when he is eligible, adding that he thinks people need to take into account other people as well
Health Secretary Sajid Javid accepted advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and asked the NHS to prepare to vaccinate the group ‘as soon as possible’.
And Boris Johnson called on families to listen to the advice, saying that the committee was ‘among the best in the world’ and that the country should ‘take our lead from them’.
Officials said there is ‘no time to waste’ and want to give all 1.4million older teenagers the Pfizer vaccine before schools return in September. Detailed plans will be set out this week.
At a Downing Street press conference this afternoon, JCVI chair Professor Wei Shen Lim revealed 16-17 year olds won’t be booked in for second doses just yet.
There are currently no concrete plans to offer the 16 and 17 year olds second doses, with the expert panel wanting to buy more time to understand the safety risks.
Meanwhile, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said there was ‘no time to waste’ and that there was ‘plentiful’ supply of the vaccines.
Unveiling the inoculation drive expansion in a Downing Street briefing today, Professor Van-Tam said: ‘Children are going to start going back to colleges and sixths forms from September, and in Scotland that will be slightly earlier, so there is no time to waste in getting on with this.
‘The NHS has been kept informed of what is being deliberated for JCVI, it has been preparing for multiple options for very many weeks now and I would expect this programme will start in a very short number of weeks.’
He also laid the groundwork for ministers to expand the inoculation drive to all over-12s in the near future, saying that the JCVI would ‘continually review’ the evidence.
The major safety concern around vaccinating children centres on a heart condition called myocarditis, which is six times more common after the top-up jab.
Health chiefs confirmed that children will be able to overrule their parents and opt to get the vaccine without their permission.
But experts are divided over the hugely controversial topic of vaccinating children, given their tiny risk of dying or falling seriously ill.
Many experts welcomed the move to vaccinate people in younger age groups as ‘sensible’ and ‘another piece of the jigsaw for the UK to return to some kind of normality’.
But others attacked it for being ‘too little, too late’ because younger people cannot be double-jabbed before the autumn term. A group of 18 top scientists called for vaccines to be rolled out to over-12s immediately.
More than eight in ten Britons support the move, polling suggests, including more than 50 per cent of people who strongly support offering jabs to the younger age groups.
Some countries – including the US and Israel – have already started, which made Britain an outlier in so far only vaccinating the most at-risk over-12s.
The JCVI, which advises No10, last month ruled only over-12s with serious underlying health conditions or who live with a vulnerable adult should get jabs.
Officials are keen to push the immunisation drive on to more youngsters in order to prevent an autumn surge in infections when they return to schools in September.
Britain’s Covid cases rose by five per cent in a week today to 29,312, the first time they have gone up in almost two weeks. Another 119 deaths were also recorded, which was up 30 per cent in seven days.