All children aged five to 11 in the UK will be offered a low dose of a COVID vaccine, the Health Secretary has confirmed.
After the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) yesterday updated its vaccination advice for children aged 5 to 11, with a view to increasing protection against potential future waves COVID-19, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said the that the NHS in England will “prepare to extend this non-urgent offer to all children during April”.
He confirmed that the UK government’s vaccine advisory body had recommended the jab rollout be expanded, and that ministers will follow the new advice.
Almost six million children across the UK will now be eligible for the vaccine.
The JCVI said the move is being made “with a view to increasing protection against potential future waves of COVID-19”.
The vaccine advisory body said that while five to 11-year-olds are “generally at very low risk of serious illness from the virus”, a “very small number of children who get infected do develop severe disease”, and this is why it has made the decision to expand the vaccine rollout.
The JCVI are advising that all five to 11-year-olds are given two 10mcg doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – which is one third the strength of an adult vaccine.
There should be interval of at least 12 weeks between the two doses.
Speaking on the JCVI recommendations and confirming the vaccine rollout expansion in a statement delivered yesterday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The JCVI advice follows a thorough review by our independent medicines regulator, the MHRA, which approved Pfizer’s paediatric vaccine as safe and effective for children aged five to 11.
“Children without underlying health conditions are at low risk of serious illness from COVID-19 and the priority remains for the NHS to offer vaccines and boosters to adults and vulnerable young people, as well as to catch-up with other childhood immunisation programmes.
“[But] the NHS will prepare to extend this non-urgent offer to all children during April.
“So parents can, if they want, take up the offer to increase protection against potential future waves of COVID-19 as we learn to live with this virus.”
The news that all children aged five to 11 are to be offered the vaccine comes after clinically vulnerable children of the same age, or those who live with someone who is immunosuppressed, have already been offered the vaccine throughout the UK.
This was after the JCVI updated its guidance back in December 2021.
The age group above, 12 to 15-year-olds, started getting their first vaccines in England at the end of September, and have been able to get their second jab from just before Christmas as long as their first was at least 12 weeks before.
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.