NHS continues to offer jabs in schools across the North West
NHS teams across the North West are returning to schools to offer first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as the majority of young people go back after the half term break.
All schools in the region will have an agreed date for their vaccine session by Easter, making it convenient for pupils aged 12 to 15 who have already had their first dose to get their second dose in school. Teams will also be able to give first doses to any students who have not yet had one.
A report from the National Audit Office released on Friday found that the NHS vaccination programme has helped to save lives and reduce hospital admissions, meeting “stretching and unprecedented targets” – all while making effective use of public money.
Following an NHS half term push, nearly 14,500 more 12 to 15s have received their vaccine while families across the North West made the most of their time off. Almost a quarter of children coming forward during this time - 23% - received their first dose, meaning more families are protected.
While school children have faced significant disruption to their education due to the pandemic, the JCVI – independent experts who advise on vaccinations – have advised a second covid vaccination three months on from their first which offers the best protection against the virus for this age group, ensuring they are protected and helping to keep them in school.
More than 78,000 young people have been double jabbed across the region so far - two months after the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history started to roll out second doses to 12 to 15s.
Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Senior Responsible Officer for the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the North West, is reminding families of the various options available to book vaccines, including booking an appointment online, taking them to a local walk in centre or through the clinics provided in schools.
She said: “As the COVID-19 vaccine remains our best defence from the virus, it’s encouraging to see that out of the thousands of 12 – 15s vaccinated during the half term, 23% of those were first doses.
“As children return to school after the break, NHS teams are getting ready to host many more vaccine clinics so that 12-15s can easily get protected. If your child is yet to be jabbed, take up the school offer, book online or find a walk-in site near you.”
In total, more than a quarter of a million doses have been delivered to those aged 12 to 15 in the region.
Children who have had Covid must wait 12 weeks after infection until they can be vaccinated, in line with JCVI guidance.
Clinically at-risk 12 to 15 year-olds or those who live with someone who is immunosuppressed are also entitled to a booster three months after their two primary doses, with those who are severely immunosuppressed able to get their booster after a third primary dose.
In line with national guidance, consent letters are sent out to parents and guardians prior to the school clinics with information on the COVID-19 vaccination. Parents and guardians are asked to attend vaccination sites with their children if they are getting jabbed outside of school, and consent will be sought on the day.
In the North West, more than 14.4 million jabs have been delivered, part of more than 117 million jabs in England.