THE number of adults who have been given their 1st dose in the North-East and North Yorkshire has now exceeded 1m. 

Most recent figures for all 14 council areas across our region shows that almost 1.1m people had now received at least their 1st jab. 

Earlier this week, one County Durham area was named the the region's highest for administering the most vaccines - with more than 6,000 issued.

But that only includes those who are aged 18 and over, as the Covid vaccine has yet been rolled out to children.

However, speculation has been mounting that the jab could in fact be rolled out as early as August, with a top professor saying children may only be vaccinated if it is "necessary" to do so by then.

Following this, we've put together everything we know so far about the Covid vaccine in children.

Are there any official plans for children to have the vaccine?

Although the vaccination programme is rolling out to those over the age of 50, and those aged between 16 and 64 with severe underlying health conditions - vaccines are not yet available to those 15 and under.

According to a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), no final decisions have been made on actually offering any vaccine jab to children against coronavirus.

Today, Professor Adam Finn, who sits on the JCVI, responded to reports of an August date and said: "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 - but it’s certainly something that we might need to do.”

While children are unlikely to fall ill with Covid, it is generally accepted that they do play a role in transmitting the virus.

In the North-East and North Yorkshire, eight out of 14 council areas saw a rise in Covid infections in the week children returned to school. 

SEE MORE: 8 out of 14 council areas across region see rise in Covid cases as schools reopen

The rise marked the first notable increase across the region as a whole in the weeks following the introduction of the third national lockdown.

Are trials going ahead and what if so, what is the progress?

Currently, the University of Oxford is carrying out a clinical trial on children to test the safety and efficacy of its Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in younger age groups.

But the results of such trials are not expected until Summer at the earliest - with around 300 of those aged between six to 17 taking part.

Prof Finn told ITVs Good Morning Britain that results from more than one study are needed.

If approved, teenagers could be first 

In his interview, Prof Finn said that if it does turn out to be necessary to immunise children, it is "likely" the JCVI could prioritise teenagers over younger children.

He said: "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.

“I think what we need to learn before that (is) what proportion of the population we need to immunise in order to get effective herd immunity and to suppress circulation of the virus.

“In order to do that, we need to have a clear understanding of how efficiently the vaccines actually interrupt infection and transmission, and that evidence is still on its way at the moment.”

We won't vaccinate children unless necessary 

Referring to the aim to have the adult population vaccinated before the end of July, 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.”

Currently, only children at very high risk of severe infection are offered a jab - the approved Pfizer/BioNTech, which can be used to vaccinate those 16 and above.

What the Government has said

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.”