Only vulnerable children aged five to 11 will be eligible for the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine in the UK, following comments from government advisers, even though the regulator has approved the vaccine for all children in that age group. .

The Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency on Wednesday approved the use of lower doses for the cohort. Doses will be one-third the size of injections for people 12 years of age and older.

But the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization, the UK’s advisory group on vaccines, has chosen to roll out the vaccine only to vulnerable children and those with vulnerable parents in their households at this time.

Separately, the JCVI said booster shots could be given to healthy 16- and 17-year-olds, as well as children aged 12 to 15 with weakened immune systems or those living with people vulnerable. They would become eligible for their third dose three months after the second, the committee added.

The JCVI said two injections, given eight weeks apart, would be offered to children aged five to 11 “in a clinical risk group or who are a family contact of an immunocompromised person (of any age).”

A person close to the committee said a decision on a wider rollout of every 5 to 11 years “would be for next year.”

Meanwhile, a former British prime minister has called those who refuse the Covid-19 vaccine “idiots”, despite having no health reasons.

“If you are not vaccinated yet and are eligible and have no reason not to be vaccinated for your health, you are just not irresponsible. I mean, you’re an idiot, ”Tony Blair told Times Radio. “I’m sorry, I mean, honestly you are.”

Blair said the government should seek to persuade people hesitant to vaccinate rather than prosecute them in a “heavy” manner.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out introducing rules before Christmas Day, but is under pressure from his medical advisers to tighten restrictions afterwards.