A Downing Street briefing is being held this afternoon where the latest step of the Covid-19 vaccination programme is expected to be set out.
Led by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Wei Shen Lim, chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and Dr June Raine, Chief Executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the briefing is expected to say that children and young people are now being recommended to get a jab.
The briefing is set to start at 3.30pm – follow updates in our live blog below.
The prospect of youngsters getting vaccinated has already sparked debate.
Sixteen and 17-year-olds should get a coronavirus jab if offered, a scientist who has been researching Covid-19 infection rates throughout the pandemic has said.
Professor Paul Elliott, director of the React programme, and chair in epidemiology and public health medicine at Imperial College London, said that a surge in infections to mid-July was being “driven” by younger people.
The React study saw the highest rates of infection among unvaccinated people, he told Sky News, adding: “Clearly what’s important now is that as many people who get offered the opportunity to have the vaccination should take it.“
Professor Paul Elliott, chair in epidemiology and public health medicine at Imperial College London, also said younger age groups receiving coronavirus vaccinations would be “helpful” for reducing community transmission – but a public health official has said it is “inevitable” that parents may stop their teenagers from getting a Covid-19 jab if they are offered it.
Anjan Ghosh, director of public health for Bexley Council, told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme: “There will be that, that is inevitable and that is going to probably be a rather interesting space to have a conversation and engagement with.“