The Government has announced that all children aged 12 to 15 will be offered a single dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.
Whilst vaccinating children won’t stop Covid-19 spreading in schools, it’s hoped that it will reduce the number of cases and, in turn, reduce absence rates and associated disruption. Evidence suggests that a single dose of the vaccine can reduce the risk of catching the Delta variant of Covid-19 by 55% and also make it less likely that you’ll get seriously ill or pass the virus onto others.
Healthy children will be offered a second dose of the vaccine in due course, but not before the spring term. However, children with certain health conditions, or who live with people who are immuno-suppressed, will be eligible for a double dose.
Most vaccines will be administered by schools, and parents can expect to receive a letter telling them when the jab will be available.
It’s important to note that vaccination isn’t compulsory. Parental consent will be sought, but children can choose to disagree with their parents and accept or refuse the vaccine if they can prove they understand the benefits and risks of being vaccinated.
As reported in last month’s edition, 16 and 17 year olds are already being offered the vaccine and parental consent won’t be sought.
The Government has also announced that booster jabs will soon be available to adults who are most at risk and have already received two doses. Eligible people will receive a letter from the NHS.
For the latest information on Covid-19 and the vaccination programme, please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.