The Daily Telegraph
Moving the needle Rollout in schools
Children aged 12 to 15 could begin receiving Covid vaccines from next week after the four Chief Medical Officers of the UK said they should be offered the jab. The NHS has been planning for a potential rollout, after Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, set out plans last month.
What happens next?
NHS England will begin writing to School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) providers to prepare to begin the rollout, as soon as the Government gives the green light. It is understood 60 providers will deliver Covid jabs in schools. Public Health England (PHE) will also initially communicate with schools about the next steps of the roll-out and what they should expect. The Green Book, which provides information on vaccines and vaccination procedures for doctors, also needs to be updated on dosage use and guidelines.
The SAIS works with the NHS to deliver vaccines to school-age children. Typically, paediatric and school nurses deliver vaccines on behalf of these providers.
When will parents receive letters asking for their consent?
PHE is currently developing a national protocol and materials relating to consent for this age cohort. Parents are expected to receive information about vaccinating their children, and asking for their consent, within the next week.
What vaccine will children be offered?
Children aged 12 to 15 will be offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The Chief Medical Officers believe offering one dose will reduce significantly the risk of a child getting Covid and reduce the risk of their transmitting the virus. This may be reviewed later on.
What will the roll-out look like in schools?
It is expected that space will be made in classrooms or sports halls for jabs to be administered. Arrangements could also be made for children to travel to vaccination sites.
What if my child does not attend school?
Local SAIS providers will co-ordinate different arrangements for children who are not in school, such as those who are homeschooled, in secure services, or specialist mental health facilities.
What are other countries doing?
France began vaccinating over-12s in June. Switzerland approved the Pfizer jab for over-12s in June, while in Italy 12 to 15-year-olds were authorised to receive Pfizer vaccines in May. The US, Canada, Japan and the UAE have also decided to jab over-12s.