Vaccinators to enter schools for mass jab drive for under 16s when holidays end

Swarms of vaccinators are set to enter schools under a mass jab vibe for teenagers when summer holidays end next month.

Reports state staff are being hired for a mass flu vaccination programme which is being rolled out to teens under the age of 16 for the first time.

It comes as officials indicate the Covid vaccination could be rolled out to teenagers as well.

The jab was approved for healthy 16 to 17-year-olds, who will be offered the first dose of the Pfizer jab within the next few weeks, writes The Telegraph.

The Covid jab has not yet been ruled out for younger children, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said.

Scientific advisors continue to review the evidence for those aged 12 to 15 receiving the Covid jab.

However, Dr June Raine has ruled the Pfizer vaccine is safe for those younger teenagers in the age bracket.

Dr Raine, the head of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, said: “Our advice remains that the benefits of getting vaccinated outweigh the risks for the majority of people.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid, said Covid jabs for 16 and 17-year-olds would be partly delivered through schools.

He added GPs and hospital hubs may also be used, and “we’ll be working through the already existing schools vaccination programme, which I think will help to bolster this”.

Dr Tom Jefferson, expert in respiratory viruses and senior associate tutor at Oxford University, says the plans being put in place for the flu vaccine could "absolutely" be redesigned for a Covid vaccine rollout in the future.

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Public Health England advised schools that they have a "key role" to play in “promoting uptake of the vaccination programme because of the relationship they have with parents, children and young people”.

There are more than 200 job advertisements currently open for school vaccinators and administrators over the past couple of weeks.

Amanda Schiller of Vaccination UK said the vaccinators in schools is a "convenient" way to carry out a mass programme.

She added to The Telegraph: “It allows us to vaccinate larger numbers of children more easily. In terms of Covid, we can’t foresee what’s going to happen this winter. Having it run in schools is much more convenient for parents, it makes it easier for us as well, and safer.”

Molly Kingsley, co-founder of the parent campaign group UsForThem, said some parents and caregivers will be concerned the flu jab drive will be moving us "closer" to mass Covid vaccine rollouts in schools.

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