Mr Jenrick said it seemed “sensible” to initially expand the jabs to children before their 18th birthdays, and especially to those with health vulnerabilities.
His remarks come amid reports that the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI) will on Monday advise against offering the jab to all people over the age of 12 until more evidence is available on the risks.
According to Sunday Telegraph, the expert panel would instead call for immunization to be offered to children aged 12 to 15 years who are known to be vulnerable to COVID-19, or who live with adults who are immune-suppressed or otherwise critical of the disease. are at risk, as well as for 17-year-olds who are within three months of their 18th birthday.
eminent virologist told today independent that there was no compelling safety or ethical reason to stop jabs over the age of 12 and called on Boris Johnson to move swiftly to vaccinate all teenagers.
More than 12 million people in countries including the US have been vaccinated without significant side effects, although the US Centers for Disease Control has identified about 300 cases of heartburn in adolescents following Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
Mr Jenrick told Sky News on Sunday with Trevor Phillips: “We will consult JCVI in the coming days – we have not yet received their final advice – on whether to expand the vaccine rollout for children.
“Sounds like a sensible thing to do.
“And so we’ll be looking at their advice carefully … whether or not we should open up the vaccine program in the first place, for children who are under their 18th birthday, for children who have special vulnerabilities and Children who are in homes where there are people who are particularly vulnerable.
“It seems like a sensible way for us to proceed. But ministers will need to make that decision when they are armed with the final advice from our expert advisors JCVI, and I hope we will receive that advice very soon.
Labor’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth urged the JCVI and ministers to “consider carefully” whether it was really necessary to prevent teenage children from being vaccinated.
“I’m not against having kids,” he told Phillips. “I think it should be looked into by the JCVI. Other countries are doing it. I don’t understand why we are not proposing it.
“In the end, these are always clinical decisions, but if JCVI is going to propose tomorrow that we are not going to vaccinate children, I hope they can fully explain their thinking and Why did they make a different decision for the United States?”