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Academy response: Vaccination of 12-15 year olds

Representatives from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Scottish Academy the RCGP, RCPCH, RC Psychiatrists and Faculty of Public Health were invited by the four UK CMOs to advise them, as part of their process for making a final decision and recommendation to their respective Governments on whether to extend COVID-19 vaccination to healthy 12-15 year olds.

This follows the suggestion from JCVI, agreed by health ministers, that the Government might wish to take further advice, including on educational impacts, from the Chief Medical Officers of the four nations.

In providing their advice Colleges were acutely aware how complex an issue this is and the range of views on the topic. However, the general consensus from the College representatives was that there are wider benefits in vaccinating people in the 12-15 year old age group which augment the marginal health benefit to individuals identified by JCVI.

In essence these are in helping to reduce the potential disruption to the schooling of 12-15 year olds through COVID related infections, which is recognised to be detrimental to the well-being and mental health of all children but with a disproportionate impact on the most disadvantaged.

The four CMOs having considered advice from various sources, made their recommendation to ministers that 12-15 year olds are vaccinated.

Medical Royal Colleges will support this decision and work to ensure that the vaccination programme for 12-15 year olds is rolled out as efficiently and smoothly as possible ensuring the highest possible uptake.