Jabs for kids begin… and they’ll be done by half-term: Covid vaccine is rolled out to thousands of schoolchildren in drive to inoculate all youngsters
- NHS teams are going into hundreds of secondary schools this week to deliver Covid-19 vaccinations to 12 to 15-year-olds
- 60 School Age Immunisation Services will give the vaccines across the country
- The NHS aims to offer vaccines to all eligible children before October half-term
- But latest data shows no surge in cases since children returned to school
Jabs were rolled out to thousands of schoolchildren yesterday in an ambitious drive to vaccinate all youngsters before the October half term.
Schools are sending out consent letters to parents, in line with current standard practice for childhood vaccinations such as HPV.
The Covid vaccines are being delivered by around 60 School Age Immunisation Services across the country, which have teams made up of clinical staff such as paediatric nurses and school nurses.
Three million youngsters are now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine after chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty gave the programme the go-ahead
NHS teams are going into hundreds of secondary schools this week to deliver Covid-19 vaccinations to 12 to 15-year-olds
Guidance has been issued to headteachers to contact police if they believe anti-vaxx protests are planned outside their premises.
The NHS is aiming to offer vaccinations to all eligible children before the October half-term.
Officials hope the programme will curb the size of any winter wave and reduce disruption to education.
Quinn Foakes, 15, was one of the first schoolchildren to get the jab yesterday and said he was ‘excited’ as it was another step towards life getting back to normal.
The pupil at Belfairs Academy secondary school in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, said: ‘I was nervous at first but in the long run it’s going to be good because I can keep safe near my family and with my grandparents.
‘I can go near them, I’m really excited to be around them.’
His mother Janine Lilleker, 44, who is also a teacher at the school, said: ‘Their education has been hindered since Covid.
‘By getting their vaccination done it’s a way of them protecting themselves and also protecting the wider community of the school.
‘We’ve had our vaccines done as parents, so why not my son?’
The NHS is aiming to offer vaccinations to all eligible children before the October half-term. Officials hope the programme will curb the size of any winter wave and reduce disruption to education
Latest UK data shows there has been no surge in cases since children returned to school earlier this month. Weekly cases are down 12 per cent, with 36,100 infections and 49 deaths reported yesterday
Fellow pupil Jack Lane, 14, said: ‘It makes it easier and less worrying to go out. Despite hating needles I’d rather have it done and get it out of the way.’
The school’s vice-principal Johan Zweistra said there had been ‘significant uptake’ by children with permission of their parents.
Commenting on the move, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘It’s encouraging to see 12 to 15-year-olds starting to get their vaccinations today – reflecting our ongoing commitment to protect young people from Covid-19 and minimise any disruption to their education.
‘Today is the culmination of the fantastic preparation work the NHS has put in place to ensure vaccines can be given as safely and quickly as possible.’
Latest UK data shows there has been no surge in cases since children returned to school earlier this month.
Weekly cases are down 12 per cent, with 36,100 infections and 49 deaths reported yesterday.
Meanwhile the booster programme is also pressing ahead, and 1.5million vulnerable adults will be invited for third doses this week.
Pfizer OK for five-year-olds
Children aged five could soon be vaccinated against Covid after Pfizer said trials showed their jab was effective in younger children.
The manufacturer said a third of its normal dose of its Covid-19 vaccine works for children aged five to 11 and it will seek approval from medical regulators for use in this age group.
The Pfizer-BioNTech jab has already been authorised for use in over-12s, and is being rolled out to teenagers in the UK.
Pfizer has tested the lower dose on more than 2,000 under-12s in an ongoing trial.
The company said that after the second jab, children aged five to 11 developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as those in teenagers and young adults.
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