Children aged 12-15 across the Black Country and West Birmingham will be offered a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in school from this week.
This follows the recent guidance issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), that children aged 12 to 15 are now eligible for a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, provided it has been 12 weeks since their first dose.
The second doses will be delivered by local NHS immunisation teams who will work closely with schools to identify all eligible children. Alternative arrangements will be made for any children who are vulnerable or home-schooled.
Parents and guardians will receive a letter or email with information about when the vaccine will be offered at their child’s school, and in line with standard practice for vaccinations in schools a consent form will be sent out in advance.
For those who prefer to receive the vaccine outside of school, walk-in appointments are available for 12-15-year-olds at a number of vaccination sites across the area including Tipton Sports Academy in Sandwell, The Saddlers Vaccination Centre in Walsall, the Cardiac Rehab Gym at City Hospital, the Mander Vaccination Centre in Wolverhampton and Saltwells Education Centre in Dudley.
Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS BCWB CCG, said: “Getting a second dose of the vaccine will help to give children and young people added protection against COVID-19, especially at a time of uncertainty with the new Omicron variant.
“The vaccine is safe and effective, and is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones so I would urge all young people to take up the offer as soon as they can.
“The offer of a vaccination is evergreen, so any parent or guardian who previously declined to give consent but has changed their mind, is welcome to bring their child along to a walk-in vaccination site outside of school hours.
“Our out of school offer is also an opportunity for any family members who have not received their first, second or booster dose of the vaccine to join their child at a walk-in site to get their vaccine together.”
Parents and guardians can also book their child an appointment online via the National Booking System online or by calling 119.
Children do not need to be registered with a GP or have an NHS number to be vaccinated, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.