NHS vaccinates one million 12 to 15-year-olds

More than one million 12 to 15-year-olds in England have been vaccinated against COVID-19, as the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme continues to visit hundreds of schools every week.

So far, more than 3,500 schools have hosted clinics, while 95% of all schools have either already been visited or have a visit planned in the coming weeks.

New data today confirm the NHS has hit the million milestone, while more than 800 schools will be visited by NHS teams next week offering young people the chance to get vaccinated ahead of winter.

Young people have also been able to get their vaccine over the last two months through existing school immunisation services or by booking through the National Booking Service to attend a vaccination site outside of school hours.

More than 90 million vaccinations have been delivered since the NHS in England made history when Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a clinical trial in Coventry, in December 2020.

At the same time, the NHS has been rolling out the COVID-19 booster vaccine programme to protect the most vulnerable ahead of the winter with more than ten million top-up doses delivered so far.

Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “It is fantastic that one million 12- to 15-year-olds have now had their COVID jabs thanks to the schools programme and the hard work of specialist NHS teams who are either visiting hundreds of schools every single week or our vaccination sites.

“I would urge families to look at the information together and then book in to give children and their loved ones crucial protection ahead of winter”.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Over a million young people aged 12 to 15 have now received the crucial protection the vaccine provides.

“This is a phenomenal accomplishment and will make a huge difference in stopping COVID-19 from further disrupting their education, their health and their lives”.

In line with national guidance, consent letters are sent out to parents and guardians prior to the school clinics with information on the COVID-19 vaccination.

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.

There are around 60 school age immunisation services across the country with teams made up of clinical staff such as paediatric nurses and school nurses.

Staff are working hard to offer vaccinations to all children in this age group in schools as quickly as possible.