THE health secretary said more than 800 secondary schools in England will be visited by health teams from Monday (31) to offer Covid-19 vaccine to children aged 12 to 15.
Sajid Javid said the vaccines “will help keep children in the classroom”.
According to the NHS, more than 600,000 children have been vaccinated since the rollout was extended last month.
Data suggest some 163,000 received a jab in the last week after the booking system was opened up for the under-16s.
Last month, the UK’s chief medical officers had recommended that children aged 12 to 15 be offered one dose of a Covid vaccine. The rollout in England began on 20 September.
With caseload in the UK remain high, efforts are on to vaccinate as pupils return to classrooms.
“The vaccines are safe and will help keep children in the classroom – I encourage everyone to come forward for their jab to protect themselves and the people around them,” Javid was quoted as saying.
In order to visit a vaccinationn centre, children can alternatively make an appointment through the national booking system, and over the next few weeks, some 140,000 children have made appointments.
Dr Nikki Kanani, the deputy lead for the NHS Covid-19 vaccine programme, said efforts to vaccinate 12 to 15-year-olds “will not stop”.
Dr Kanani, who also works as a GP, added: “It’s really important that we continue with the same enthusiasm if we want to ensure children get to stay in the classroom with their fellow pupils this winter, and so I encourage all parents and guardians to head online and read the information on vaccinating your child, so you can make an informed decision.”
Students are also being urged to get tested for Covid-19 before returning to school. Since the end of September, there has been a rise in the number of daily confirmed cases.
Across the UK, a further 41,278 positive cases were reported on Saturday (30), and the seven-day average remains above 40,000 cases.