The UK has announced that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use for children aged 12 to 15.

After a “rigorous review”of safety and effectiveness in that age group, the use of the vaccine was approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

More than 2,000 children were involved in the trial to determine the vaccine’s safety.

Cumbria's director of public health, Colin Cox, said there was still a way to go before a decision is made to start rolling out the Pfizer jab for 12 to 15-year-olds.

He said: “I think the key thing to note is that this is a medical approval,which determines that it is safe and effective to use, but it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be used immediately.

“The next step in all of this is the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation has to take a view on whether it’s the right thing to do, and they will take their time to review the data that they’ve got before it is rolled out to younger cohorts.

“There’s still a bit of a way to go and even if it is decided that it will be opened up to younger cohorts, we still haven’t opened up to the 18 to 30-year-olds.

“There’s that to do first.

“Clearly, it’s really good that we now have that as a potential option should it turn out that it’s the right thing to do, but there’s a lot of consideration to be had before a decision is made.”

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is one of four vaccines that have been approved in the UK.

The Janssen vaccine will be available later this year.