With autumn approaching, many people are concerned about what the next few months could bring for coronavirus infection rates.
To avoid a possible fall lockdown, health officials are reportedly preparing to approve the introduction of vaccines for children aged 12-15.
It is understood that young people in this age group will receive a single dose of the vaccine instead of the usual two.
When are adolescents vaccinated against Covid?
Covid vaccines are already available for over 12 year olds with severely weakened immune systems, while over 16 year olds can also get their first vaccination.
Meanwhile, anyone over the age of 18 can receive both vaccine doses.
Reports now suggest that the introduction of Covid vaccinations for people aged 12 to 15 will start as early as next week.
What are the vaccination rates among adolescents?
Vaccine uptake is high among younger age groups, although those under 30 have only been eligible for vaccination since June.
In Scotland and Wales, around three quarters of 16 to 29 year olds have had at least one vaccination. In England this number is slightly lower at around two thirds.
The NHS reported In early September, half of all teenagers between the ages of 16 and 17 had their first coronavirus vaccine within one month of eligibility.
Why is vaccination of adolescents so important?
With schools recently reopened, there has been significant concern among health professionals and the general public about the potential impact on case numbers as children return to often cramped and poorly ventilated classrooms.
Although school children are generally much less at risk from the virus, there are concerns that they could pass it on to others who are more vulnerable than themselves.
Prof. Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London has said that vaccinating teenagers should now be a top priority for health leaders.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Prof. Ferguson pointed out that some other European countries had made more progress in vaccinating teenagers and that Britain was at risk of falling behind.
Prof. Ferguson also said he supported the idea of offering booster vaccinations to boost immunity before the winter months.
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