London [UK], August 4 (ANI/Sputnik): The UK is set to start offering COVID-19 vaccines to healthy teenagers aged 16 and 17 as soon as possible after national vaccine experts issued a relevant recommendation, Health Minister Sajid Javid said on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) issued a recommendation that healthy teenagers aged 16 and 17 should be offered a first shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
"Today's advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) means more young people aged 16 and over can benefit from COVID-19 vaccines. I have accepted their expert recommendations and I have asked the NHS to prepare to vaccinate those eligible as soon as possible," Javid said in a statement.
The JCVI does not recommend inoculating children under 16 without underlying health conditions but will continue to monitor the situation, the minister added.
Health experts in the UK conducted detailed analysis of the risks posed by vaccination, concluding that the benefits of vaccinating adolescents outweighed the potential harms, Wei Shen Lim, the chair of the JCVI, told a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
In July, the country approved the vaccination of children aged 12 and over but only if there is a high risk to their health or they live with an immunosuppressed person. (ANI/Sputnik)