A SOMERSET MP has called on England's chief medical officer to resign - saying the decision to vaccinate teenagers 'without good clinical reason' is wrong.

MP for Yeovil, Marcus Fysh, tweeted yesterday (September 14) suggesting Professor Chris Whitty should resign.

His comment followed the announcement that children aged between 12 and 15 in England are to be offered their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Around three million children are set to be eligible for the jab despite the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) deciding not to recommend mass vaccination of the age group.

But Mr Fysh does not agree with the decision.

He tweeted: "Sorry to have to say it but the chief medical officer Chris Whitty does not deserve the confidence of the country in deciding to vaccinate teenagers without good clinical reason. He should resign."

While health ministers are yet to publicly approve the move, a document published on the Public Health England (PHE) section of the Government website states that all children aged 12 and over are eligible and will be offered a first jab.

In their advice to the Government, the UK's four chief medical officers (CMOs) said they were recommending vaccines on 'public health grounds' and it was 'likely the vaccination will help reduce transmission of Covid-19 in schools'.

They added: "Covid-19 is a disease which can be very effectively transmitted by mass spreading events, especially with Delta variant.

"Having a significant proportion of pupils vaccinated is likely to reduce the probability of such events which are likely to cause local outbreaks in, or associated with, schools.

"They will also reduce the chance an individual child gets Covid-19.

"This means vaccination is likely to reduce (but not eliminate) education disruption."

After seeking advice from a range of experts, including the Royal College of GPs and the Royal College of Paediatrics, the CMOs said they consider education "one of the most important drivers of improved public health and mental health".

They added: "The effects of disrupted education, or uncertainty, on mental health are well recognised.

"There can be lifelong effects on health if extended disruption to education leads to reduced life chances.

"Whilst full closures of schools due to lockdowns is much less likely to be necessary in the next stages of the Covid-19 epidemic, UK CMOs expect the epidemic to continue to be prolonged and unpredictable.

"Local surges of infection, including in schools, should be anticipated for some time. Where they occur, they are likely to be disruptive."

Multiple people on twitter responded to Mr Fysh's comments, and some disagreed - pointing out the importance of children's mental health when considering the decision, and suggesting the vaccination will help to reduce rates of infection in communities.

One Twitter user wrote: "And you know better on clinical matters? I thought you studied literature. If you were commenting on the poet laureate, I might listen."

One of Mr Fysh's constituents added: "I am delighted that my MP knows more about the global pandemic than the chief medical officer."