NHS England has today (20 December) opened the national booking service for 12-15-year-olds to get their second Covid vaccine.
The news means more than 75,000 schoolchildren will be eligible to book an appointment if they had their first dose more than twelve weeks ago.
Second doses for this age group will initially be offered via the national booking service, rather than through schools.
School-age immunisation service providers will run once schools return from the Christmas break, with second doses also being offered through schools from 10 January.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said: ‘NHS staff are pulling out all the stops to get everyone who is eligible vaccinated, with more pop-up clinics and extended hours, so it is vital people play their part by coming forward as soon as possible to get protected.’
The JCVI first advised for 12-15 year-olds to receive their vaccine in September, with the campaign later extended to local vaccination sites in October.
So far more than 1.3 million young people having had their first shot.
The JCVI has also now listed pregnant people as a priority for Covid vaccination.
It comes a week into the NHS’ accelerated booster campaign, which saw nearly 1.7 million shots administered across England this weekend.
To meet the new targets, NHSE Covid said vaccine sites should be resourced to help them to operate 12 hours a day ‘as standard’.
NHSE also said last week that the 15-minute observation after mRNA Covid vaccination can be waived from 16 December.