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COVID vaccine offered to Northants students aged 12 to 15

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

29 September 2021

Vaccine being received in the arm

Students aged 12 to 15 have begun to receive the COVID-19 vaccine this week as the Northamptonshire Vaccination Programme begins its rollout to secondary schools across the county.

Following the Department of Health and Social Care’s decision to extend vaccination to all children in the 12 to 15 age group, youngsters in Northamptonshire are starting to be offered the vaccine at schools on a phased basis.

The programme is being led by the Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) school-aged immunisation service, and parents or guardians of children aged 12 to 15 have begun to receive letters with details of when the vaccine will be offered.

They will also be asked to provide consent for their child to receive the vaccination, either through an online e-consent process or via a paper form if required.

Parents or guardians do not need to contact their local GP or other NHS services about getting the vaccine, and the local school-aged immunisation service has put in place processes to exclude children who have already received a first dose of the vaccine under previous advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), for example if they are clinically vulnerable.

Parents and guardians of home-schooled children in our county have been contacted separately to invite their children to receive their vaccine at the Northamptonshire Vaccination Centre in Moulton Park.

At this time, the UK’s Chief Medical Officers advise that healthy 12- to 15-year-olds should be offered a first dose only, which will be the Pfizer-BioNtech (Comirnaty) vaccine, the only vaccine currently authorised for those aged 12 to 15.

Chris Pallot, Director of the Northamptonshire Vaccination Programme, said: “In anticipation of the Government’s decision to extend the vaccination to all children aged 12 to 15, we have been working hard over the past few weeks to be ready to deliver the COVID vaccine to all secondary schools across our county. We’re delighted that this rollout is now under way.”

Rachel West, Director of Community Healthcare at NHFT, said: “NHFT’s school-aged immunisation service has been delivering routine vaccinations in schools for many years and we’ve been looking forward to getting started with the COVID vaccine. Parents and guardians don’t need to contact their school or the NHS to ask about the vaccine – we will be in touch with more information about when their school visit will be taking place.”

Lara Dorothy, aged 17, a student at Southfield School in Kettering and a Schools Ambassador for the Northamptonshire COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “It is vital that young people receive their vaccination in order for us to continue to defeat the virus. It will give all young people more freedom and independence. It will also enable them to have more fun again! The vaccine not only protects the young person, it protects everyone around them, whether that is their grandparents, parents, teachers or siblings. Young people are more likely to suffer from long covid and having the vaccine can really help to reduce the risk of them experiencing the awful effects of it.”

West Northamptonshire cabinet member for Children’s Services, Councillor Fiona Baker, said: “Vaccine take-up among Northamptonshire residents has been excellent and we hope this will continue with the roll-out of the booster jab and vaccination of 12- to 15-year-olds. Being fully vaccinated is the most important step we can take to help to control the spread of COVID-19 and to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We encourage everyone – whatever age – to take this important step and get vaccinated when called.”

North Northamptonshire Council executive member for Children, Families, Education and Skills, Scott Edwards, added: “I urge families to work with the school vaccination teams to get their children vaccinated when they are invited, not only to protect themselves but their families and friends too. We potentially face another difficult winter and vaccination is key to ensuring we all stay safe and well.”

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