More than 24million people have been vaccinated against the coronavirus in England. 

There have been 24,137,423 first doses of the Covid jab given in England, with 1,685,983 people receiving their second dose.

However, this only accounts for people over the age of 18 - so what about children? 

Will children be vaccinated? 

While children appear less likely to fall ill with Covid-19, they do play a role in transmitting the virus.

The University of Oxford is currently carrying out a clinical trial on children to test the safety and efficacy of its vaccine in younger age groups, with initial results expected in the summer.

The trial is working with partner sites in London, Southampton and Bristol and includes around 300 youngsters aged six to 17.

However no final decisions have been made on vaccinating children against Covid-19, says a government advisor. 

Professor Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol, who sits on the JCVI, said more than one study is needed before decisions are made about extending the vaccination programme to youngsters.

Asked if under-18s could be vaccinated this autumn, Professor Finn told Good Morning Britain: “As far as I know there has been no decision made to immunise children starting in August, or indeed any decision been taken to immunise children at all at this point.”

When could children get the vaccine?

The University of Bristol expert said it could become necessary to vaccinate children later this year – and suggested teenagers would be the priority. “It’s certainly something that we might need to do,” he added.

Falmouth Packet:

Children could get the vaccine as early as July if approved (PA)

“If it does turn out to be necessary to immunise children, I think it is more likely that we would prioritise teenagers over younger children, simply because the evidence we have at the moment is that transmission of the virus is more likely to occur from and between teenagers who are a little bit more like adults.”

The government is making provisional plans to begin immunising children as early as August, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, which cited two sources involved in preparations.

Will the jab protect children from new variants? 

The government currently aims to have the adult population vaccinated before the end of July - this is expected to be enough time to see what happens with variants.

Prof Finn said: “During that time we will see what goes on with variants, with the circulation of the virus, and then we’ll be able to make a decision whether children need to be immunised – we clearly won’t want to do that unless it’s necessary.

“But if it is necessary we will by then know whether the vaccines are entirely safe and effective and we’re giving the right dose and so on, so that we go forward with that later in the year.”

Prof Finn said more studies are forthcoming on how vaccines work in children, adding that “in order to establish that vaccines can safely be used in children, we need to do that”.

Which children can get the jab right now?

Currently, only children at very high risk of severe infection are offered a jab.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: ”While clinical trials are under way to test the efficacy and safety of Covid-19 vaccines in children and young adults, these trials have not concluded yet.

“We will be guided by the advice of our experts on these issues including the independent JCVI.”