As stated in the media this week, it has been confirmed that all UK 16 and 17 year olds will start to be offered a first dose of the Covid jab soon following a recommendation from vaccine experts.
NHS organisations including NHS Doncaster CCG, are awaiting guidance around the announcement with the booking process and dates for the first and second jabs to be confirmed.
It is understood that this group of people will not need parental consent for the jab and will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination.
The addition of this group to the eligible vaccination population of the UK means around 1.4 million teenagers will be eligible for jabs.
Anthony Fitzgerald, Director of Strategy and Delivery at NHS Doncaster CCG said: “This news is welcomed across Doncaster with many parents and young people relieved to be included in the vacation programme. Many of our youngsters have been anxious of catching coronavirus and I’m hopeful that this next phase of the vaccination programme will be rolled out as soon as possible with the aim to offer first doses before schools and colleges return in September.”
Some other countries have already been routinely vaccinating children over 12. The US has been doing so from May, as well as some European countries, such as France and Italy, after EU regulators gave them the go-ahead. Other countries that are vaccinating children include Brazil, Japan, Israel and Hong Kong.
The JCVI said it expected one dose of the vaccine would give the 16 and 17-year-old age group good protection against severe illness and around 80% protection against hospitalisation.
Anthony said: “Although Covid-19 is typically mild or asymptomatic in young people, it can be very unpleasant for some and we have some severe cases of the virus in young people in Doncaster. I encourage anyone in this 16-17 year old group to come forward for vaccination as soon as you are invited, especially as we will be heading into winter a few short months after schools and collages go back after summer. As soon as we know when you are able to get a jab, we will let you know. Please don’t call your GP or local practices about this as they have no more information and crucially, we need to keep the phone lines free to help poorly patients.”
For more information on the vaccination programme please visit https://www.doncasterccg.nhs.uk/covid-19-vaccine/.