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Govt announces Covid-19 vaccination programme for 12 to 15 year olds

The Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. Photo by PA.

All children aged 12 to 15 years old will be offered vaccines against Covid-19, the Gibraltar Government announced on Monday.

The decision came after the UK’s four chief medical officers (CMOs) held a press conference announcing children in this age group should be offered a first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

In Gibraltar, following the advice of the Gibraltar Health Authority’s Medical Director and Director of Public Health, the Minister for Health, Samantha Sacramento, confirmed the roll-out.

A statement from No6 Convent Place said plans to vaccinate secondary school age children are already well advanced in Gibraltar in anticipation of this decision being made.

Parents will soon be asked to give their consent to children being vaccinated as part of the process which will commence in the next few weeks once an additional supply of the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine arrives from the UK.

As part of the consent process, information on the benefits and risks of vaccination will be made available.

“I welcome the news that our Medical Director Dr Krishna Rawal and our Director of Public Health Dr Helen Carter have determined that it is safe and appropriate to proceed with vaccinating, with parental consent, our young people in Gibraltar against Covid-19,” the Minister for Health and Care, Samantha Sacramento, said.

“I am delighted thatthe UK Government have agreed to supply Gibraltar with additional vaccine for this purpose. I would like to pass on grateful thanks from the population of Gibraltar to the Government of the UK for their continued support of our vaccination programme.”

“The Covid-19 vaccination programme in Gibraltar has been phenomenally successful with to date almost 40,000 people being vaccinated and 79,111 doses being given.”

“The GHA are also expecting advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) about the need for any booster dose of vaccines for adults imminently. If this advice supports booster doses, the GHA will make the necessary arrangements for this in a timely manner.”

The Minister for Public Health, Dr John Cortes, added he fully welcomed the decision in UK as it will add another, significant layer of protection against Covid-19.

“The Department of Education is working with GHA to ensure that vaccinations are rolled out efficiently and effectively as soon as possible,” he said.

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