New guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), teenagers aged 16 and 17 are eligible for a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, provided it has been 12 weeks since their first dose.
Eligible teenagers will be contacted by the NHS via letter or text message when it is their turn to get a second dose. Appointments can be booked online via the National Booking System or by calling 111, with walk-in appointments also available at selected vaccination sites across the area.
Since the initial roll-out of the vaccine to all 16 and 17-year-olds, Walsall College has worked with local vaccination leads to offer all its students the Covid-19 vaccine. Students from Walsall College have recorded videos of their thoughts on the vaccination, to encourage others their age who have not yet come forward for their first dose to consider getting the jab.
Madi Longmore, aged 16, said: “I didn’t only have the vaccine to protect myself, but also to protect my entire family, the people I work with and the people I come to college with.”
Another student, Alex Crammond,16, said: “Since starting my new job I feel as though it’s my priority and responsibility to protect those around me and get the vaccine.”
Stephen Gunther, director of public health at Walsall Council, said: “Just because you’re young, you’re not invincible. You can get COVID-19 like anyone else. It has been so evident in the last few months how much Covid-19 can affect young people. Those aged 0-19 account for the highest number of positive cases, so now is the time to get protected.
“Two doses of the vaccine is now recommended for 16 and 17-year-olds so we really want to see them coming forward and protecting themselves and those around them. If you are eligible for a vaccine, please go and get it – don’t wait for the virus to get you first to see how it’s going to affect you.”
Parental consent is not required to be vaccinated for this age group and youngsters do not have to be registered with a GP to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile people in the West Midlands have been urged to get vaccinated before Christmas.
The importance of vaccinations has been reiterated by Staffordshire councillors ahead of the festive season as the booster eligibility changes come into effect.
Young people aged 16 and 17 are now entitled to a second dose of the vaccine 12 weeks after their first was delivered.
People aged 40 and over can now get their booster jab six months after their second dose while those aged 12 to 15 remain eligible for a single dose of the vaccine.
Cabinet support member for public health and Integrated Care, Dr Johnny McMahon, said: “Recent case surges in Europe show that the situation can change quickly.
“The success of the national vaccine programme means it’s so important that those remaining get their vaccine to get protected.”