- Only 55% of 16 and 17-year-olds had received their first dose by 26 September, which has barely increased in weeks
- Analysis revealed in new weekly report by the UK Health Protection Agency, which today replaced PHE
- Experts say they aren’t necessarily surprised by the plateau because many teens ‘don’t feel the need to get when’
According to UK government data, coronavirus vaccines in older adolescents appear to be already on hold.
The latest data shows that only 55 percent of 16- and 17-year-olds in England had taken their first dose by 26 September, which had barely risen in the past three weeks.
Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of children aged 12 to 15 years have come forward for their vaccine. But it includes only one week’s worth of data from the point when most teens were eligible.
The analysis was revealed in the new UK Health Protection Agency weekly report, which today ended Public Health England’s pandemic duties.
This showed that the uptake in the age group was around 20 percent at the beginning of August. That rose to 50 percent in three weeks after expanding the roll-out to all older teens on August 19. But progress has stalled in recent weeks, with an increase of just five or so percent in September.
All age groups have seen a natural stagnation in rapid growth, with the threshold being much higher in older age groups, which are more susceptible to severe COVID-19. For example, the range was about 90 percent for people over 70 and 80 percent for people over 50.
Experts said they weren’t necessarily surprised by the plateau. Dr Ragib Ali, an epidemiologist at Cambridge University, told MailOnline that older teens had less enthusiasm for jobs because many have already had COVID ‘so don’t think they need to be vaccinated’.
England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty revealed earlier this month that nearly half of children had already caught the virus at some point and therefore developed some immunity. Official figures today also suggested that one in 20 children was carrying the virus on any given day in the past week.
According to Professor Paul Hunter, a medical expert at the university, “There is no doubt that all vaccines in current use are very good at protecting a vaccinated person from becoming infected and from serious disease, but a prior infection does as well.” East Anglia.
He told MailOnline: ‘So ultimately I’m not particularly concerned about the current low use of vaccines in this age group.’
Only 55 percent of 16- and 17-year-olds had taken their first dose by September 26 (heading week 38), a number that had barely risen over the past three weeks. New UK Health Protection Agency data shows the increase in age group at the beginning of August was around 20 per cent
The second dose is administered in older adolescents at about half the rate of the first dose. But that’s because of the eight-week delay between doses.
Fifteen-year-old Lauren McLean became one of the first under-16s to receive a COVID vaccine at the Excelsior Academy in Newcastle-on-Tyne last week
Dr Simon Clarke, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Reading, echoed Professor Hunter’s comments, saying he was also ‘not surprised’.
“We already knew that younger adults are more difficult to reach than their parents and grandparents,” he told MailOnline. ‘You will always find that there is a part of any age group that is eager to be vaccinated, and they will take it first.
Hundreds of schools labeled ‘proactive’ and roll back suits of Covid curbs with masks and bubbles
Schools have been instructed by councils to introduce a suite of stricter COVID restrictions in response to the increasing infection among students.
Hundreds of primary and secondary in Staffordshire were urged to ‘be active’ and not wait for official guidance from the government.
The county’s council has encouraged bringing back face masks and year group bubbles and scrapping assemblies and staff meetings. It also recommended starting and breaking times of schools to limit mixing in corridors and playground.
Staffordshire County Council, which comprises more than 400 schools, is believed to be the first to promote the resumption of such comprehensive measures.
Other local authorities have rolled back mild measures such as wearing masks, including in parts of Cumbria and Northamptonshire.
Students whose family members test positive are advised to ‘stay at home pending PCR test results’, despite the fact that schools cannot legally isolate them.
Ministers did away with the need for all contacts of COVID cases to self-isolate in August.
The government, not wanting to take a backward step after issuing restrictions in July, says schools can only impose restrictions if infection levels in the school are very high.
It is not clear how many students or staff in Staffordshire have tested positive, but the council claims it has the support of cabinet ministers.
The education department says schools can take action in their own hands if five students or staff test each other positive for Covid within a 10-day period.
They have also been given the power to do so if 10 percent of the students or staff in a school test positive within 10 days.
A document circulated by the council in Staffordshire said it has the support of the local director for public health and government ministers.
Infections in Tory County rose by more than a quarter last week, but more than 30 places in Britain had higher infection rates.
Staffordshire County Council cabinet member Jonathan Price said cases were concentrated in secondary and college outbreaks.
‘Next will be people who are less concerned about their health, they will want to persuade more and some of them may not have gotten around to it.
‘And then there are people who don’t want it, either because they don’t really see the need or they are…