West Midland schools ready to deliver Covid jabs to students

Schools across the region are gearing up to support the roll-out of the coronavirus vaccination programme for young people aged 12 to 15.

Almost three million children in the age group will be eligible for one dose of the Pfizer vaccine following the Government's acceptance of the UK Chief Medical Officers' recommendation.

Jabs will start in hundreds of schools this week – with the NHS vaccination programme rolling out to others in the coming weeks. Like the flu and HPV vaccines, Covid-19 jabs will be delivered by local School Age Immunisation Services (SAIS).

In line with standard practice for vaccinations in schools, consent letters are being sent out to parents and guardians with information on the Covid-19 vaccination.

Sukhjot Dhami, principal at Beacon Hill Academy in Sedgley, said he welcomes any measures that would help keeping the classrooms safe – including vaccinating pupils. But he added the school would respect any decisions made by pupils, or parents and carers, to not be vaccinated.

Vaccinations are not yet underway at the school, but Mr Dhami said they would be ready to help support the vaccination roll-out.

Mr Dhami said: "I welcome any measure that is aimed at protecting young people from catching Covid, reducing transmission and keeping learners in the classroom safe.

"Keeping learners in school over the coming weeks and months is key to supporting their education after all the disruption schools have faced over the last two years.

"I do however respect the fact that parents/carers and young people themselves should have a choice and some may not want to be vaccinated for personal reasons, and of course we must respect this decision.

"As always Beacon Hill Academy stands ready to help roll-out and support the NHS with the roll-out as we have done every step of the way during this pandemic.

"The question of whether or not to offer vaccinations to this age group has clearly been thoroughly considered and the decision on whether or not to accept this offer is a matter for individuals and their families. School leaders are not going to be in any way making decisions about consent."

Chris King, chief executive of the Severn Academies Educational Trust, which includes Kidderminster’s Baxter College and Stourport High School, added: “We will be providing support for the vaccination programme in the same way that we do for other vaccinations delivered via school premises.

“The School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) will be responsible for delivering the vaccines and we understand they will be in touch with schools shortly, to arrange dates and what needs to be in place for sessions.

“Schools across the country will have three primary roles which are familiar and the same for other vaccine programmes – to provide information to their SAIS provider on which children on their roll are eligible for the vaccine; to share the information leaflet, consent form and invitation letter supplied by the SAIS team with parents and children and to provide the space within school, and the time away from the timetable, to enable vaccinations to take place

“As well as identifying a timetable and space for the vaccines to be given, schools will need to designate a place for pupils to be observed for 15 minutes after they have had their vaccine.

“The guidance we have been given states that parents will be given a number to contact the SAIS team direct, with any questions or concerns. All medical aspects sit with SAIS – we just facilitate the process, but are happy to do so.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News