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Statement on vaccinating under 16's

13 Sep 2021

Welcoming the advice from the Chief Medical Officer regarding the vaccination of all 12-15 year olds, Koulla Yiasouma, NI Commissioner for Children and Young People, said:

“I welcome today’s announcement that 12-15 year olds should be offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The CMO and the Department of Health must now clearly communicate specifically to these young people and their families and set out the reasons behind this decision, how it builds upon the ‘marginal advantage’ of giving the vaccine to this age group, as communicated by JCVI, and provide the information they need to make a fully informed decision about taking up the vaccine.

“There should also be opportunities for children to have their questions answered in a way they can understand.

“The vaccine is already available for children aged 12 – 15 years old with underlying health conditions and has been welcomed by those children and their families as they have enabled them to return to educational and social activities where they would have had to otherwise shield.

“I have been assured by the CMO that the decision to recommend extending the offer of the vaccine to all children between the ages of 12- 15 considers the wider impact of the Pandemic on children’s rights, including their right to an education and the best physical and mental health.

“The priority should now be communicating these benefits and any risks, in a clear and timely way.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The PHA has provided a range of information and advice for children and young people:

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