Parents will now be able to book Covid vaccination for their 12-15 year old children online from today, extending the campaign to local vaccination sites.
Previously, children under 15 years old were invited to receive their jab via the schools programme, which has seen nearly 500,000 children vaccinated.
The expansion means that school children can be vaccinated at a GP practice or community pharmacy during the half term break, starting next week.
Announcing the expansion today (22 October), NHS England said it advised parents and guardians to accompany their children to the vaccination site, with consent sought on the day.
Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: ‘It is excellent that parents or guardians can soon book a Covid-19 jab for their children at vaccination hubs – making getting a jab even easier during the school holidays and offering greater flexibility to families.
‘As we head into the winter months, it is more important than ever that young people get their vaccine as soon as possible to help protect themselves and their families.’
Earlier this month, NHSE urged pregnant women to come forward for their vaccine after NHS data showed almost 20% of the most critically ill Covid patients in England were unvaccinated, pregnant people.
The expansion of the services comes a few days after the booster programme, which is running parallel, reached half of those eligible for a third jab shot in England.
Management in Practice reported that that as of 17 October, 3,596,683 people had received a booster jab since GP practices and vaccination sites began administering booster shots last month (16 September).
The milestone occurred in the shadow of the UK recording 45,066 daily cases, its highest daily figure since 20 July, with chief medical officer Chris Whitty warning that general practice will ‘absolutely at the forefront’ of the anticipated winter crisis.
However, in a Downing Street press briefing this week (20 October), the Government said it does not plan to introduce new Covid restrictions, as Mr Javid claimed pressure on the NHS – including GPs – is ‘not unsustainable’.