More than 20,000 teenagers in region have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, figures show

More than 20,000 teenagers have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in the Black Country and Stafford, official figures show.

Roll-out of the vaccine continues at pace in the region
Roll-out of the vaccine continues at pace in the region

Government data shows a total of 20,293 people aged under 18 had received both jabs by January 16 as Omicron cases continue to spread.

And of that figure, a total of 13,066 were aged between 16 and 17 – with a further 2,889 being aged between 12 to 15 receiving both jabs.

It comes as the roll-out of the vaccine continues at pace in the region due to the increasing spread of the Omicron variant across the country.

John Jolly, chief executive at charity Parentkind, said while measures such as face coverings in schools and vaccines for under 18s were “inevitably polarising” among parents, their research showed the majority wanted their child’s educational experience to return to some form of normality.

He said: “Clearly, a challenge to that will come in reconciling the divide in parents’ views of the best way to achieve this, particularly when it comes to the role of protective measures against the spread of Covid.

“However ministers make decisions on updating their guidance, they must keep in mind the impact on parents and on family life that their policies will have.”

In Wolverhampton, a total of 2,857 under 18s had received two doses – with 2,284 aged between 16 and 17 and a 573 aged 12 to 15. In Sandwell, the figure was 3,663 with 2,970 people aged 16 and 17 and a 693 between the other age group.

Meanwhile in Dudley, the sum was 3,892 with 3,315 people between 16 and 17 and 577 between 12 and 15. In Walsall, it was 3,414 with 2,835 under 18 and 579 between 12 and 15.

And in Stafford, the figures from the UK coronavirus dashboard show 2,129 people under 18 have been double jabbed – with 1,662 under 18 and 467 between 12 and 15.

Across England, 52 per cent of 12 to 15-year-olds have had at least one dose of the Covid jab, including nine per cent who have received two. The rates for 16 and 17-year-olds stood at 66 per cent for a first dose and 45 per cent for second jabs by January 16.

A Government spokesperson said getting children vaccinated was helping to keep schools open for face-to-face lessons.

They added: “The scientific evidence is clear, vaccines are the best way to protect young people and their friends and family from Omicron."

The UK Government has now also opened booster bookings for 16 and 17-year-olds, and for clinically vulnerable 12 to 15-years-olds.

NHS vaccination programme lead for 12 to 15-year-olds, Nick Hulme, said: “The booster has been proven to give substantial levels of protection against Covid-19 and the new Omicron variant, so it is vital that our youngest and most at-risk get their top-up dose of protection as soon as possible.

“I am delighted that we can kick off this stage of the rollout.

“As soon as you receive the invitation from your local NHS team or GP, please do take up the offer and bring your child forward for their all-important protection as soon as you can.”

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