Shropshire among the leading English areas for vaccinating the young

Shropshire is among the leading English authority areas for vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds, with more than a quarter taking up their jabs.

Data released by the UK Government this week showed that 28 per cent of the age group in Shropshire had received their vaccination - one of the top performing English authorities - and 22 per cent in Telford and Wrekin.

A spokesperson from Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Covid-19 Vaccination Service, said: “In Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin we continue to make excellent progress in the vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds, and we are delighted that so many young people have taken up the offer of vaccination.

"This is a real testament to the hard work of the School-Aged Immunisation Team and the Covid-19 Vaccination Service in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin who are working together to deliver this programme of work at pace.”

Powys health bosses estimate that around 40 per cent of people aged 12-15 have already taken up their invitation for Covid-19 vaccination.

The figures are despite a rise in positive Covid cases among 10 to 19-year-olds in the area.

Invitations for the 12 to 15-year-olds are being sent to home addresses, offering an appointment at one of Powys Teaching Health Board's mass vaccination centres across the county.

Adrian Osborne from the health board said that everyone in the age group should have received their invitation by now, with appointments continuing into half term.

"If you have not received your invitation then please get in touch with the health board so that we can offer you an appointment. More information, including a Priority Access Form so that we can fast-track you to an appointment, is available by visiting pthb.nhs.wales/covid-vaccine and clicking on Age 12 to 15."

The recent spike in cases in secondary school and college age students in Powys prompted a plea from the county council with residents being urged to remain Covid-safe.

Figures release earlier this month showed more than a 50 per cent increase in cases and 1,970 per 100,000 10-19 year olds.

"Parents and guardians are being urged that if a child has a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste, they ensure that they isolate immediately and get a PCR test," a spokesperson said.

"In addition, twice weekly LFD testing is strongly encouraged for all secondary school age learners to help identify and isolate asymptomatic cases as soon as possible."

The county council said that the huge increase in case numbers was also having an impact on the county’s dedicated contact tracing team which was being stretched by the volume of cases. It has asked residents to be patient warning that calls may be delayed but that the team was working hard to reach contacts.

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