Pupils hoping to 'get rid' of Covid as they receive first jabs

A Shropshire school has hosted the first Covid-19 vaccination clinic for 12 to 15-year-olds in the county.

Pupils aged between 12 and 15 can now receive their jab
Pupils aged between 12 and 15 can now receive their jab

Bridgnorth Endowed School hosted the clinic on Monday for its cohort of students between the ages of 12 and 15, in its main hall.

Some 200 children were vaccinated before the bell rang for lunch, with more kids set to receive their jabs in the afternoon.

The NHS in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin is now working with the local School Aged Immunisation Service (SAIS) to deliver this vaccination programme. The SAIS team and members of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin’s Covid Vaccination Programme Team were on-hand vaccinating pupils at the school today.

Michelle Murray, one of the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin’s Covid-19 vaccination programme team’s clinical leads, said: “It was brilliant for us to be vaccinating students at Bridgnorth Endowed School today. I know that for many of these young people and their parents, this is a reassuring step in the right direction – and one that will ensure that young people’s learning won’t be impacted any further. It also means they won’t miss out on spending time with their friends.”

The Shropshire Star spoke to some of the students as they sat for the recommended 15 minutes following their vaccines.

The mood was positive after the disruption of learning from home. Students see the vaccination as a way to ensure that they can continue learning in school among their peers.

Tilly Davidson said: "Hopefully we can get rid of it and get back to normal. We've got our GCSE's coming up next year."

Josh Gray added: "I feel a lot more comfortable now that I've had it."

Other students added that they were relieved now that they had been given the jab, and encouraged others to get it if they were able to.

Barry Worth, headteacher of the school, said: “I would like to thank our local School Aged Immunisation Service Team and the Covid Vaccination Programme Team for coming out today to offer our pupils a Covid-19 vaccination in order to prevent further disruption to their studies.”

Tilly Davidson receives her jab

The clinic is part of the UK Government's roll-out of optional Covid-19 vaccinations for the age group, for which some three million children are eligible.

Each child is set to be offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Steve Ellis, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Vaccination Programme Lead, added: “The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine to all children and young people aged 12-15 marks a significant milestone in the vaccination programme.

“The Covid-19 vaccines have demonstrated they are safe and effective in this age group and vaccination offers the best chance of protecting young people from the virus and preventing further disruption to education. Many countries around the world have already been safely vaccinating children and young people in this age group.

“Getting the vaccine is a decision to be made jointly between parents or carers and their children, but it’s really important to use reliable and trusted sources such as the NHS to inform when making a decision.”

Vaccinations for children aged 12-15 will mainly be delivered in schools and the local NHS is working with schools to identify suitable dates to visit.

Parents, guardians, or carers of children aged 12-15 have started to receive letters via their children's school, with details of when the vaccination will be offered. They will be asked to provide consent for their child to receive the vaccination.

Those being home schooled, in secure services or specialist mental health or excluded will receive confirmation of how to access vaccinations shortly.

Parents or guardians do not need to contact their local GP or other NHS services, nor make an appointment through the National Booking Service.

For more information, visit: https://www.stwics.org.uk/our-priorities/covid-19-vaccination-programme/covid-vaccines-advice-for-children-and-young-people.

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