Thousands of schoolchildren now protected against COVID-19

More than 8,500 12 to 15 year olds have now received their COVID-19 vaccine in Sussex, as the roll out for teenagers continues.

It comes after the Government announced last month that all 12 to 15 year olds would be offered one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine.

In Sussex, school visits started two weeks ago and to date, 56 schools have been visited.

The vaccinations are being coordinated by the health teams who normally run schools immunisations visits, including flu and HPV, led by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

Parental consent is sought in advance and only children with consent in place will be offered the vaccine on the day of the visit.

To date fewer than one in five had declined the vaccination.

In total across Sussex there are more than 50,000 children who will be eligible for a vaccine as part of this roll out.

The aim is to have offered the vaccine to all 12 to 15 year olds by October half-term, and to have completed the school visits in November.

Amy Galea, Senior Responsible Officer for the Sussex COVID-19 and Influenza Vaccinations Programme said:

“The roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to 12 to 15 year olds is a really key part of the national programme, and we are working closely with schools and families to make this offer to young people across our communities.

“Not only will vaccination protect young people, but it will also help to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on their education and disruption to schooling.

“Currently the focus has been on planning and visiting schools to reach as many young people as possible. This has been going very well with more than 50 schools visited to date.

“We recognise that not everyone will have been in school on the day of the visit and so we are also making arrangements for anyone who wishes to have the vaccine but wasn’t available, and for those who are home schooled or in different settings.

“We want to encourage families to talk about the vaccination and there is a lot of information on our Sussex Health and Care Partnership website if you want to know more.”