The NHS is urging parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 amid concerns about the new COVID variant, Omicron.
Over 100,000 12 to 15-year-olds in the East Midlands have received their first dose against COVID-19, but more are being urged to get protected ahead of the Christmas festivities. Latest statistics show that there are still another 100,000 unvaccinated in the East Midlands.
This week, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that second doses of the vaccine will be offered to 12 to 15-year-olds, with at least 12 weeks between doses, to ensure they have maximum protection against this virus. Details about when these second vaccinations will start are expected this month.
In the meantime, all schools in the East Midlands have received a visit from the COVID-19 immunisation team, or have been offered a visit.
Young people have also been able to get their vaccine by booking at Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS (www.nhs.uk) to attend a vaccination site outside of school hours. They must attend together with their parents or carers.
Alison Tonge, the NHS England and NHS Improvement director responsible for overseeing the vaccination programme across the Midlands, said:
“It is fantastic that over 100,000 12 to 15-year-olds have now had their COVID jabs in the East Midlands thanks to the schools programme and the hard work of specialist NHS teams who have visited schools or who are working in vaccination sites suitable for 12-15 year olds.
“Now that we are entering into the winter months with the new variant, Omicron, it is more important than ever that young people get their vaccine as soon as possible to help protect themselves and their families. So, I would urge families to look at the information together and then book in to give children and their loved ones crucial protection ahead of Christmas.
“Vaccines are safe, will protect children from COVID-19 and prevent further disruption to education.”
Parents and guardians are asked to attend vaccination sites with their children if they want them to get jabbed outside of school hours and consent will be sought on the day.
They are asked to read the patient information in advance of arriving for their appointment. This can also be accessed online.
There are around 60 school age immunisation services across the country with teams made up of clinical staff such as paediatric nurses and school nurses.
Staff are working hard to offer vaccinations to all children in this age group in schools as quickly as possible and in readiness for the start of second vaccine doses being given.