Invitations to get a COVID vaccine are landing on the doormats of all 16- and 17-year-olds in the North West in a further effort to boost take-up in this age group, as the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history expands further.
In the North West, more than 47,000 people aged 16 and 17 have already had their jab – which includes those who were eligible previously eligible due to an underlying health condition, with more than 13,500 getting their jab in the two weeks since the NHS was given the green light to offer all 16 and 17 years olds the lifesaving jab.
The JCVI updated guidance on 4 August so that all 16 and 17-year-olds could be offered one dose of the vaccine, and anyone in this age group can now find their nearest centre through the ‘grab a jab’ NHS online walk-in finder, with more sites becoming available every day.
GPs are also inviting at-risk children aged between 12 and 15 years old, who are clinically vulnerable to COVID or live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus, with 30,000 children in this age group nationally already protected.
Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Regional Director of Commissioning (North West), said, “It’s really encouraging to see so many 16- and 17-year-olds coming forward at the earliest opportunity for their vaccine. It’s all about making sure as many young people as possible can be protected from the virus before they return to school or college or start training this autumn and I’d encourage everyone to come forward for their life-saving jab as soon as they receive their invitation.”
The National Booking Service (NBS) is currently open to anyone aged 18 or over, and to people within three months of their 18th birthday.
The NHS has been jabbing at hundreds of convenient locations across the region, including mosques, museums, football stadiums and other community hubs, as well as a number of pop-up clinics in shopping centres, events and locations like Chester Zoo.
Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to COVID will be contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine. Those who are eligible include those with Down’s syndrome, or undergoing many cancer treatments, have had organ or bone marrow transplants or who are on the learning disability register.
The COVID vaccine will also be offered to children aged 12 years and over who live with someone who is immunosuppressed, such as those receiving chemotherapy or who have had a transplant.