Only one on seven school pupils have first virus jab

Just one in seven 12 to 15-year-olds in South Tyneside have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, new figures show.
Pupil Covid jab figuresPupil Covid jab figures
Pupil Covid jab figures

The data from the UK's daily covid dashboard show 972 young teenagers in the borough had received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by October 17 – around 14.1% of the age group.

Among 16 to 17-year-olds, 59.8% had been vaccinated by October 17 – up from 59.3% the previous week.

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In England, just 15% of 12 to 15-year-olds had received their first jab by October 17 – compared to 47.4% in Scotland.

Colin Angus, senior research fellow at the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield, said the difference betgween the two nations was down to the way the vaccines were being rolled out.

In Scotland, vaccines are being delivered in the way they are for adults – while in England they were being managed in schools until Tuesday’s announcement that 12 to 15-year-olds in England would also be able to arrange a jab through the national booking service.

Mr Angus said: "While hospitalisation and even death from Covid in young people is thankfully very rare, increased vaccine uptake should help to reduce transmission rates, bringing overall case numbers down and reducing the risk of infection being passed on to older, more vulnerable groups."

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In a letter to parents last week, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and Health Secretary Sajid Javid told parents that vaccines are the best defence against Covid-19.

It said: “Vaccination makes people less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on.”