'Positive response' as first school pupils receive Covid jabs

Pupils across the region are starting to be offered their Covid-19 vaccinations.

Secondary school pupils have started receiving Covid jabs
Secondary school pupils have started receiving Covid jabs

It comes as all children and young people aged 12 to 15 years old are now being offered a single dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine – after the Government accepted advice from the four UK chief medical officers (CMO).

Like the flu and HPV vaccines, Covid-19 jabs will be delivered by the local School Age Immunisation Services (SAIS) – but will mainly be delivered in schools and the local NHS is working with schools to identify suitable dates to visit.

Parents, guardians, or carers of children have started to receive letters via their children's school, with details of when the vaccination will be offered. They will be asked to provide consent for their child to receive the vaccination.

Last week, Sally Roberts, chief nursing officer for the Black Country, said the aim was to vaccinate all children who choose to have the jab before the half-term break with most children having their vaccine in a session at their school.

While a spokesman for Walsall Council said they anticipate letters to be sent out from this week – with vaccinations starting after October half-term but a date will be confirmed soon.

Sukhjot Dhami, headteacher at Sedgley's Beacon Hill Academy, said: "I welcome any measure that is about keeping students safe at school and I welcome any measure which helps to reduce that transmission rate.

"Vaccinations at school are not a new thing, we have always had a vaccination programme run by the NHS, so we as a school are just facilitating that.

"The overall response from parents and learners has been very positive and we're next in line in Dudley to have our pupils vaccinated.

"The response has been overwhelmingly positive."

The Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are coordinating the school vaccination roll-out in Staffordshire – with jabs getting underway at schools in Stone and Tamworth in the coming days.

Among those vaccinations getting underway this week, Bridgnorth Endowed School became the first school in Shropshire to offer the vaccination on Monday.

Skye McWilliams, aged 14, was one of the young people, who received their vaccine. She said: “I feel great after having my Covid vaccine, I definitely a sense of relief knowing that so many of us in school have been vaccinated and hopefully this will mean less disruption to our lessons.

“I would encourage anyone who is able to, to have the vaccine.”

Josh Gray, also 14 years old, said: “I feel a lot more comfortable now that I’ve been vaccinated.

"Last year we all missed out on so much and although we kept in touch with our friends online, that isn’t the same as seeing them in person.”

Barry Worth, Headteacher of Bridgnorth Endowed School, added: “I would like to thank our local School Aged Immunisation Service Team and the Covid Vaccination Programme Team for coming out today to offer our pupils a Covid vaccination in order to prevent further disruption to their studies.”

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