Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has confirmed the government has accepted the recommendation for children aged 12 to 15 in England to be offered their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Earlier on Tuesday, the UK’s chief medical officers announced they had finally approved jabs for 12 to 15-year-olds as Chris Whitty and his counterparts agreed they would help minimise the disruption of education.
Zahawi told MPs: “We will now move with the same sense of urgency we’ve had at every point in our vaccination programme.”
Making a statement to the Commons, he highlighted the impact of vaccines.
He told MPs: “We know vaccinations are our best defence against this virus. Our jabs have already prevented over 112,000 deaths, more than 143,000 hospitalisations and over 24 million infections.
“They have built a vast wall of defence for the British people.”
He went on to recap the “unanimous” recommendation from the UK’s chief medical officers to offer children aged 12 to 15 one jab of the Pfizer vaccine.
Zahawi said further Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance is needed before any decision on a second dose.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.