Pfizer has asked UK regulators to approve its Covid vaccine for use in young teenagers.

The pharmaceutical giant has submitted efficacy data for its jab in 12 to 15-year-olds.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) has so far been quick to review jabs, meaning young teens could receive their jabs soon after all adults are vaccinated.

The government is aiming for everyone over 18 to have received their first dose by the end of July.

Last month, the government secured an extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to bolster the UK's rollout.

This came as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised that all under-40s and pregnant women should ideally receive an alternative jab to AstraZeneca after concerns over rare blood clots.

Pfizer vaccine
Pfizer has applied to the UK regulator for approval

This means the Pfizer and Moderna jabs will be increasingly important as the vaccine rollout goes down the age group.s

A trial has showed 100 per cent efficacy among nearly all 12 to 15-year-olds and on Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration gave emergency approval for 12 to 15-year-olds.

"I can confirm we've submitted data on the efficacy of the vaccine in 12 to 15 years olds for review by U.K. MHRA," a spokesman for Pfizer said.

It has been reported that the government may give a first dose of Covid vaccine to secondary school pupils by the time they return in September.

A teenager is inoculated with Pfizer's vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Georgia
The US began giving 12-15-year-olds the vaccine this week

The UK also hopes to embark on its booster jab programme giving a third dose to over-50s at about the same time.

However, a vaccine adviser to the UK government questioned the ethical basis of rolling out the drug to teenagers.

Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of the JCVI, said the group would be watching the US rollout.

“The overwhelming majority of children and young people don’t seem to suffer severe effects from Covid,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

Jonathan Van Tam
Jonathan Van-Tam appeared with the JCVI when curbs on the use of the AstraZeneca jab among under-40s was announced

“Although there is a minority that get very sick, the vast, vast, majority don’t.”

Professor Harnden acknowledged a risk from long Covid and the educational harm of going off sick.

But he added: “Those are the only direct benefits for children [from a vaccine] and therefore most of the benefits of vaccinating children would be for the protection of the wider community, those unvaccinated adults or those adults for whatever reason who haven’t responded as well.

“You would be vaccinating a group of children essentially to prevent illness in the community, so you’d have to be absolutely sure of the safety of these vaccines in children.”

Pfizer has said it expects to have safety and efficacy data on the vaccine for children aged 2 to 11 in September.