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juvenile jabs Vaccine roll-out approved in Northern Ireland for children aged 12 - 15

The health minister consulted the UK's chief medical officers before making the decision

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Vials of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine (Nick Potts/PA)

Vials of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine (Nick Potts/PA)

Vials of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine (Nick Potts/PA)

Young people aged between 12 and 15 in Northern Ireland are to be offered the Covid-19 vaccine for the first time.

Before they receive the vaccine, their parents or guardians will have to give their permission.

The UK’s chief medical officers have recommended those in the age group to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech version of the jab, leading to health minister Robin Swann approving the roll-out.

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Health Minister Robin Swann has said children aged 12-15 are to be offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (Liam McBurney/PA)

Health Minister Robin Swann has said children aged 12-15 are to be offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (Liam McBurney/PA)

Health Minister Robin Swann has said children aged 12-15 are to be offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (Liam McBurney/PA)

Those who are deemed ‘at risk’ will receive their doses eight weeks apart should they wish to receive it.

Consent forms for parents of children in the age group will be distributed through schools.

Health minister Robin Swann said: “I have carefully considered the advice provided by the four UK chief medical officers and have accepted their recommendation to expand the vaccination programme to all those aged 12 to 15.

"This move will help protect young people from catching Covid-19 and is expected to prevent disruption in schools by reducing transmission.”

He added: “I thank the UK chief medical officers for their expert advice.

"Our healthcare system stands ready to extend the vaccination programme to this group with the same dedication and urgency that they have delivered all other parts of the vaccination programme.”

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