Recently released figures reveal that across Bedfordshire Luton and Milton Keynes, over 28% of eligible 12-15 year olds have already had their COVID-19 vaccination. Now health bosses are encouraging others to get the jab as there is plenty of appointment capacity at all our vaccination sites.
In addition, the School Aged Immunisation Service (SAIS) is back visiting schools across the region to offer children aged 12 to 15 a chance to get vaccinated, provided they have consent from a parent or guardian.
During half term, the national booking system opened so that young people could book slots in existing vaccination centres across BLMK, together with their parents, as an extra way to get vaccinated during half term and beyond.
Thousands of families across the country have been quick to book in to get their children protected and locally nearly 16,000 young people have been vaccinated, through the schools and vaccination centres.
Children aged 12 to 15 will be able to continue to get their jab at school or by booking in at a vaccine centre online through the National Booking Service.
Geraint Davies, Senior Responsible Officer for the vaccination programme from Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group said: “It has been great to see that so many families have taken advantage of the option to book and have already been in for their child’s COVID-19 vaccination during half term.
“As our children return to the classroom, our efforts to vaccinate children will not stop – lots more schools will be vaccinating over the coming weeks.”
Sally Cartwright, Interim Director of Public Health for Luton Council agreed: “COVID-19 has not gone away; that is why it is important that more and more families ensure that their children are protected from both infection and further transmission to others. I’m reassured that we have seen hundreds of families in Luton book their slots at Redgrave vaccination centre and have already been for their child’s COVID-19 vaccination during half term. Young people can access vaccines through the tried and tested school immunisation programme, or parents or guardians can continue to book a jab at vaccination sites.”
Vicky Head, Director of Public Health for Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Councils, said “Infection rates have been very high in our schools which means children and young people’s education has been disrupted and many have missed periods of face-to-face education. I would encourage all parents and guardians to head online and read the information on vaccinating your child, so you can make an informed decision.
“The vaccines are safe and will help keep children in the classroom – we cannot be complacent and should all be doing what we can to protect ourselves and the people around us.”
Parents and guardians are asked to attend vaccination sites with their children if they want them to get jabbed outside of school hours and consent will be sought on the day. Parents and young people are being asked to read the patient information in advance of arriving for their appointment. This can also be accessed online.
Further information on the vaccination programme in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes can be found at www.blmkccg.nhs.uk/covid-19