Call for young teens to get protected as COVID boosters now available for most vulnerable

Thousands of young teens in the Midlands are being urged to get fully protected from COVID-19 as figures show that 35% in the East Midlands and 40% in the West Midlands have yet to even have a first dose. Booster jabs can now be booked online for 12-15s who are most at risk.

In the East Midlands 65% (141,374) of 12–15-year-olds on average have had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 33% (72,648) are now double jabbed.

Over 60% on average (169,578) of 12–15-year-olds in the West Midlands have received a first dose and 28% (78,014) have now had their second dose.

12-15-year-olds who are most at risk from COVID, including those who are severely immunosuppressed and with underlying health conditions, can now book in their booster online.

The Government accepted advice from The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to extend the booster programme to at risk 12 to 15s at the end of last year to provide a top-up in protection to those with an underlying health condition which means they are clinically at risk.

Until now families and their young ones who are eligible – including children receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy, those with leukaemia, diabetes, chronic diseases or severe mental illness, have been vaccinated by GP led teams.

Research from UK Health Security Agency has shown that the NHS booster programme has helped prevent around 157,000 hospitalisations nationwide since mid-December.

Roz Lindridge, the NHS England and NHS Improvement director responsible for overseeing the vaccination programme across the Midlands, said:

“We’re all learning to live with COVID-19 as we head into spring with many remaining restrictions now lifted. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is that the vaccine is the best way to protect young people from COVID-19.

“Children’s lives, including their education, have been significantly disrupted over the last two years and every parent wants to do all they can to protect their children and keep them in school.

“But when a family has the added worry of what COVID could mean for a child who is seriously unwell, getting them their top up boost in protection as soon as they become eligible is vitally important.

“For young people aged 12 to 15 who are clinically at risk that is a booster three months after their second dose, with it now even easier for families to get their child booked in and protected at a convenient vaccination centre nearby.”

The NHS has pulled out all the stops to make vaccinations as easy as possible for children, including therapy dog Ruby helping ease any nerves in Nottingham and a mini-toy town in the Black Country with youngsters getting to play hop-scotch, a treasure hunt, and snake and ladders following vaccination.

Clinically at-risk 12- to 15-year-olds or those who live with someone who is immunosuppressed are entitled to their booster three months after their two primary doses, with those who are severely immunosuppressed able to get their booster after a third primary dose.

Across the Midlands there is an ‘evergreen’ offer for COVID-19 vaccinations meaning anyone who has not yet been vaccinated is able to come forward at any time to start their vaccinations. Those who are eligible can now use the NHS online walk-in finder to find the most convenient site to get their first, second dose or booster without an appointment. People who are eligible can also book an appointment at or by calling 119.