The UK is considering a requirement for vaccine passports to be shown in order to access large venues as early as this month, but has yet to decide whether to roll out jabs to healthy schoolchildren.
“We are looking at, by the end of September when everyone has had a chance to be fully vaccinated, for the large venues — venues which could end up causing a real spike in infections — where we need to use the certification process, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said in an interview with Sky News.
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The government hasn’t yet decided on whether to roll out vaccines to healthy 12- to 15-year-olds, but if the move does go ahead, then parental consent would be needed, he said.
On Friday, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization said that the benefits of vaccination for healthy children in this age group was “marginally greater than the potential known harms, though advised the government to ask the UK’s chief medical officers to weigh in on the decision.
Zahawi confirmed that the government is considering requiring all frontline healthcare staff to have the COVID-19 vaccine, after the Sunday Telegraph reported that Health Secretary Sajid Javid is pushing ahead with the plans. The government will carry out a consultation before making a decision, Zahawi said.
He alluded to the need for a post-virus re-balancing amid reports Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to raise national insurance in order to fund a reform of the UK’s social care system.
“The safety net this government has provided is one people recognize, he said. “It’s only right that we try and make sure we return the system to where it was.
He said the government will reveal the details of its social care plan by the end of the year.