- Walk-in vaccine clinics for school children to be unveiled within weeks
- The minister is planning to launch the scheme for 12 to 15 year olds soon
- Sources claim new clinics are trying to keep anti-vaxxers away from school
Walk-in vaccine clinics for school children will be unveiled within weeks in an effort to accelerate the JABS rollout.
Sunday’s mail reveals that the minister plans to introduce the scheme for 12 to 15-year-olds soon.
This comes amid concerns that the government is too slow to introduce vaccination programs in schools.
Sources also claim that the new clinics are an attempt to keep anti-vaxxers away from the school gates.
Last night, new calls by The Mail to speed up vaccination of teenagers came after an analysis of official data on Sunday showed almost half of new Covid cases in England are now under 20.
When schools went back to early last month, 33 percent of new cases were in that age group.
But by the second week of this month, this ratio had increased to 46 per cent. Teens now make up the lion’s share of the transition into the under-20s.
Walk-in vaccine clinics for school children will be unveiled within weeks in an effort to accelerate the JABS rollout (stock image)
Because cases continue to rise, the number of new infections in the under-20s in absolute terms has more than doubled since early September, rising from about 9,000 to about 15,500 per day.
Hospital consultant Dr David Strain, who recently led a study from the University of Exeter that looked at how jabbing teens can help protect others, said the increase was ‘quite frightening’ and This shows that there is a need to accelerate the adolescent immunization campaign.
If this does not happen, he warned, older relatives of infected children will unnecessarily die from Covid. Only 15 percent of 12 to 15-year-olds in England are now vaccinated, up from 11.5 percent a week ago.
Dr Strain said the teenagers acted as a ‘viral reservoir’ – that while they rarely became seriously ill with Covid, they essentially spread it to older members of the family.
He added: ‘In our study, we estimated increased infections in children and adolescents six weeks or more after starting the mix. Then there will be a spurt in cases above 65.
‘If you look at the data for the last few weeks, this is what is starting to happen. Our next concern is [spread to older age groups] Going to be the reason for hospitalization.
Although 94 percent of those over 50 are double-jabbed, Dr Strain said this leaves significant numbers vulnerable, while those already vaccinated had ‘signs of reduced immunity’ – hence the need for a booster campaign.
He added that no one wants to see children grow up with the guilt of passing Covid on to a family member who is seriously ill.
“But kids of that age are smart enough to know that they brought the virus home from school and then a parent or grandparent got sick,” he said.
According to figures released yesterday, more than 3.3 million booster jabs have been administered in England. Across the UK, 49.4 million people have received their first Covid jab – which equates to 85.9 per cent of those over 12. More than 45.3 million people have taken the two doses.
Some 43,423 daily cases of Covid were reported yesterday, a 12.8 per cent increase in seven days, and 148 deaths were reported within 28 days of a positive test – a 5.4 per cent increase in a week.
Care home providers, however, have raised concerns that the rollout of booster jabs for employees has been slow. One provider said that employees who happily took the first two jobs are refusing top-ups.
He said one reason is that employees “don’t want to work three to four times a year”, but added that even the nature of the rollout is not driving demand.
“The care homes are not involved in encouraging the workers as it is not mandatory,” he said. ‘They’re just sending links’ [to staff] to sign up.’
The Department of Health declined to release figures last night on how many care home workers had taken the booster jab.
Three reasons to worry about UK’s Covid infection rate: Stephen Adams explores jab programme, protective antibodies and changing demographics
Analysis by Stephen Adams, Medical Editor of the Mail on Sunday
New daily covid cases are rising at double the pace at this time compared to last year. The number of people hospitalized on average every day this autumn has been higher than last time.
And the rate of new Covid cases – and deaths – here on a per capita basis is much higher than in Germany and France.
But while there have been calls from some quarters for stricter curbs to contain the spread of Covid, there has been no widespread clamor for them.
In fact, ministers are quietly confident that despite the consistently high infection rate, this winter will not be as bad as the last.
There are three reasons for this. The first is a highly successful vaccination program.
This time last year, only a few thousand people in this country got the Covid jab – who were vaccinated as part of a clinical trial.
So there was virtually no vaccine-induced immunity. Indeed, last October no one knew whether vaccines produced at record-breaking speeds in the UK, Germany and the US would work.
It was almost Christmas before the NHS Covid vaccination campaign began, with grandmother Margaret Keenan, then 90, getting her first jab on 8 December.
Now, of those eligible for vaccination — ages 12 and older — 85.9 percent have received a single dose and 78.8 percent have received two doses.
Among people over 50, which has accounted for 49 out of every 50 Covid-related deaths, the rate is even higher, 96 per cent for a single dose and 94 per cent for two doses.
This has weakened the link between COVID infection, serious illness and death, to Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance. In fact, of the 51,281 Covid-related deaths in England in the first six months of this year, 98.8 per cent were…