SAJID Javid has announced that kids 12 and over will be able to access the NHS Covid pass for international travel.

Speaking at the Commons, the Health Secretary said the pass will be available to children of those ages from today.

"From today I can confirm that the NHS Covid pass is being rolled out to 12 and 15-year-olds for international travel, allowing even more people to be able to prove their vaccine status for travel where it is needed," he said.

All kids in the UK who are aged between 12 and 15 have been offered a first dose of the vaccine.

It comes as New York introduces further Covid restrictions that will directly impact families with holiday plans in the city.

From tomorrow, New York will extend its vaccine passport scheme to include children aged between five and 11.

From then, every person over the age of four will need to prove they have been vaccinated against Covid, if they want to go inside restaurants and indoor attractions, such as Broadway shows.

Children under 12 in the UK are not currently eligible for a vaccine, so they will not be allowed into venues.

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Meanwhile, a South African doctor has said more kids are being hospitalised with severe Covid symptoms ever since the Omicron variant took hold in the country.

Dr Rudo Mathivha, head of ICU at Chris Hani Barahwanath hospital, has said the shift in demographics means hospitals are again rapidly filling up with patients.

She said her hospital is reportedly admitting around 5 to 10 kids at a time.

Dr Mathivha told how a 15-year-old died after rapidly deteriorating following contracting the virus, and that a 17-year-old has been placed in ICU on a ventilator with Covid-related pneumonia.

It's not immediately clear if they both had the Omicron variant.

She warned the hospital was filling so fast with patients that it may not be able to cater for any more children.

She said: "This is going to be a major problem for us. Our hospitals were not built to house a lot of children. Because naturally, children do not get that sick in multitude.

"We will not be able to accommodate them, and I’m not saying this to make people panic.

"I am saying this to say, all these preventive measures we take to interrupt transmission of Covid let them be applied to the children as well."

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