Half of all 16 and 17-year-olds receive life-saving COVID vaccine

New figures show 50% of all teens aged 16 and 17 have had their first COVID jab, just four weeks after the green light was given for this age group.

More than 620,000 young adults aged 16 and 17 in England have now been jabbed as the fastest and largest vaccination programme in NHS history continues at pace.

England’s top GP is now urging teenagers to “grab their jab” as the new school term starts and they return to school or college.

Young people can find their nearest vaccination site through the NHS online walk-in finder, with more sites opening up every day.

More than 1.3 million visits have been made to the online Grab-A-Jab finder since teenagers became eligible.

Local NHS teams and volunteers are gearing up again to deliver vaccines at sites, including G-A-Y nightclub in London, the Hindu Temple in Crawley and the University of Kent’s Canterbury Campus this weekend (4 September).

These figures show NHS staff have now delivered more than 75 million doses, since the NHS in England administered the first jab outside of clinical trials to Maggie Keenan in December 2020, with almost four in five adults now double vaccinated.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and Deputy Lead for NHS England’s vaccination programme, said: “Uptake among young people continues to be strong and thanks to the non-stop efforts of NHS staff and volunteers, half of all 16 and 17 year olds have had their vaccine since becoming eligible last month, giving them the best possible protection against coronavirus.

“As school and college terms are due to start back shortly, it is really important that young people continue to come forward for their life-saving vaccine and visit the NHS Grab-a-jab finder to find a convenient site, with walk-in vaccinations taking place at nightclubs, university campuses and places of worship this weekend.

“It has never been easier to drop in and get your vaccine: it is safe, effective and will provide vital protection for you and your family and friends.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It is fantastic to see the enthusiasm of young people to get the jab and great news that more than half of 16 to 17s in England are now vaccinated with a first dose as they return to colleges and sixth forms.

“Thank you for playing your part in helping us live safely with this virus so we can continue to enjoy the freedoms we missed like seeing friends and family.

“Jab by jab we are building a wall of defence that has already saved more than 105,000 lives and prevented 143,000 hospitalisations in England alone. Do not delay – please come forward and get both of your vaccines as soon as you can.”

In line with guidance from the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the NHS is vaccinating this age group with a single dose of the vaccine at GP and walk-in sites.

The NHS is texting millions of teenagers inviting them to come forward for a jab when they become eligible. Those who are within three months of their 18th birthday can book in through the national booking service.

Thousands of young people were vaccinated last weekend at NHS ‘Grab-A-Jab’ sites like Reading and Leeds Festival who added the ‘vaccine tent’ to their line-up.

Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to COVID or who live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus are also being contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine.

Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and include a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.