Health & Social Care’s decision to offer the vaccine to this age group is in line with decisions already made in the UK and other Crown Dependencies.
The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation did raise concerns about giving the jab to younger teens, but did not feel the risk of vaccination in this cohort was greater than the benefit.
HSC president Al Brouard emphasised that taking part in the programme was voluntary and that his committee had considered a range of advice before making this decision.
‘The expert advice is that there are health and social benefits to offering the vaccine to this cohort,’ he said.
‘When the invitation letters go, they will contain relevant information to help support the discussions that will take place between many parents and their children about whether they wish to take up the vaccine offer. This is very important as we want to support the decision-making process for children, young people and their parents in an open and transparent manner. And I repeat that the vaccine programme is voluntary.’
UK regulator the MHRA concluded that the Pfizer vaccine was safe for use within this age cohort.
The four chief medical officers of the devolved administrations considered the social benefits of vaccinating this cohort, including a reduction in the disruption to the education of young people, in addition to the marginal health benefits, to reach the decision to recommend offering the vaccine to those aged 12 to 15.
Invitations will be sent in due course.
Individuals should not contact HSC to book appointments prior to receiving a letter.
The letters will include information to help families discuss the vaccine offer with the eligible young people within their household. These doses will be administered through the Community Vaccination Centre at Beau Sejour using bespoke clinics.
While young people aged between 17 and 12 are only being offered one dose, two doses of vaccine continue to be offered to 12- to 15-year-olds with underlying health conditions. Letters have already been distributed to those in this cohort after discussions with paediatricians and specialist nursing teams.
More than 90m. doses of vaccine have been given in the UK so far and nearly 90% of all people over 16 have had at least one dose.
In Guernsey 91% of all people over 18 are fully vaccinated, and three quarters of 16- and 17-year-olds have had one dose.