- The government hopes that online booking will mean that more and more people can book a jab. sign up to receive
- Both covid cases among children and school absenteeism due to the virus are on the rise
- Waking up young teens is cornerstone of government’s winter Covid strategy
Children will be able to book Covid vaccines online from next week as Number 10 tries to reduce vaccination rates among teenagers.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs today that adolescents between 12-15 years would be able to book appointments online during the half term from next week.
“To make the most of the half-time over the next week, we will now open a national booking service for all 12 to 15-year-olds for their Covid immunizations at existing national immunization centres, providing families with greater flexibility.” he said.
The government hopes that easing appointments when students are not in school will help address the slow roll out of vaccines for this age group.
Just yesterday it was revealed that only 15 percent of the age group in England took their first dose despite being eligible for a month.
But the uptake was even worse in some areas of England, with some regions reporting as many as one in 30 having received the jab.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs today that adolescents aged 12 to 15 will be able to book their vaccination appointments online during the half-term break from next week.
The government has been criticized over the slow rollout of a Covid vaccine for children, but the latest data shows the plan is having mixed success across the country, with Scotland ahead of England.
While children themselves face a small risk of dying from Covid, it is hoped that vaccinating them will help stem the rising tide of cases in the UK, as immunity begins to wane in their 50s and The country rises in winter.
Random swabbing data shows that last week about 8 percent of secondary school students were carrying the virus. Different figures suggest that the infection rate among children has reached record highs.
In addition to announcing the expansion of the online booking system, Mr Javid also called on UK youth to go ahead and get vaccinated.
“I think it’s important that anyone who is invited as eligible for a vaccine, including young people, come forward and accept that offer,” he said.
The number of children out of school for Covid-related reasons in England has more than doubled over the past month, the latest attendance data from the Department of Education shows.
DfE estimates that 2.6 percent of all students – about 209,000 children – were not in class on Thursday last week for reasons related to the coronavirus.
This included a record 111,000 students who were away from school because they tested positive for the virus.
Last month, on 16 September, only 59,000 students with a confirmed case of Covid were away from school.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, welcomed Mr Javid’s announcement, saying that vaccination is key to tackling the problem of school attendance.
“In some areas it was moving very slowly and is beset by logistical problems, not to mention being hampered by the irresponsible actions of anti-vaccination protesters,” he said.
‘NHS England’s announcement that young people can attend immunization drop-in centers during the half-day break is a huge help and we hope they will help schools and colleges to help slow the spread of the virus. Will do so in sufficient numbers.
North and South divided. Scotland is moving ahead with giving the first dose of the Covid vaccine to 12 to 15-year-olds compared to England. All 10 of the best performing regions were north of the border with England hosting the bottom 10, most of which are in London.
A record 111,000 pupils dropped out of school with covid last week
Last week more than 200,000 children in England were absent from school due to Covid and more than half of them tested positive for the virus.
Official government figures show that a record 111,000 pupils from state-funded schools tested positive for Covid and were discharged from school on October 14.
This is almost double the figure of 59,000 Covid positive pupils on 16 September last month, shortly after children returned to school in England.
The absence of suspected cases of Kovid has also doubled during this period.
On October 14, the Department of Education (DFE) recorded that 81,000 students were absent from school due to a suspected case of Covid.
A month ago, the figure was only 45,000 students.
Another 16,000 students were closed for other Covid-related reasons such as isolation or schools were closed to control an outbreak due to the virus last week.
According to DFE, this means that a total of 209,000 students, which is 2.6 per cent of all students, were away from school for Covid-related reasons on October 14.
However in a note on the figures, the DFE highlighted that the number of children with the virus in schools was probably much higher due to the relaxation of self-isolation.
‘Most students in state-funded schools are under the age of 18 years and 6 months, and therefore do not need to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone who has Covid, or is in close proximity to someone with Covid There are contacts,’ it reads.
Unions seized on the figures last night to call for more restrictions, including forcing siblings of infected children to self-isolate.
After starting tenure with some restrictions, many schools are returning to communal areas and even classrooms requiring pupils to wear masks.
The NHS online booking system for vaccines is currently only available to children over the age of 16.
Mr Javid did not clarify whether children would need parental consent to complete their online bookings for the vaccine.
Currently in England a letter or email is sent from the NHS to parents and guardians with information about when the vaccine will be given…