Secondary school children invited into community venues for vaccines over the summer holidays

Young people will continue to be protected against infection and disease as secondary school-age immunisations have resumed for years 8, 9 and 10 across Kent, Medway, Surrey and Sussex*.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were closed and community clinics cancelled, which meant that eligible secondary students were unable to receive their routine vaccinations against Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Td/IPV (tetanus, diphtheria and polio) and MenACWY (Meningococal groups A, C, W and Y disease).

Most of these are usually given during term time, but due to COVID-19 there has been a backlog of vaccinations.

These immunisations are commissioned and led by NHS England and NHS Improvement to reduce the toll from serious and sometimes-fatal disease.

The programme has now started up again with catch-up clinics running throughout August. Parents will be invited to bring their child to community venues by their School Immunisation Service where nurses will administer the relevant vaccines.

Clinics are being run across the region in community venues that have been volunteered for the use of the vaccination sessions. In some areas, providers will be running a drive through service and all clinics are running in line with infection prevention control and social distancing measures in place.

Dr Chris Tibbs, Medical Director for Commissioning, at NHS England and NHS Improvement, South East said: “We’re calling on parents to make sure their child comes along to their vaccination appointment this summer.

“The infections we’re talking about here can cause very serious illnesses in children, so we’re very pleased to be able to offer immunisations again.

“I’d urge all parents and young people who get an invitation to take up the offer. It’s quick and easy and will give lasting protection.”

Plans have been developed to use the summer break to catch up on any missed vaccinations from the 2019/20 school year, and any outstanding backlog will be caught up in the 2020/21 school year.

Please note, in Kent, Medway and Sussex the summer school-aged immunisations clinics will be focusing on catch-up for the HPV vaccination. In Surrey, the summer catch-up clinics will be for Td/IPV (Tetanus booster) and MenACWY vaccinations.