04:10PM, Monday 04 October 2021
After a highly successful roll-out of the vaccine programme for UK adults and the vulnerable, all young people aged 12 to 17 are now being offered jabs against COVID-19. We talk to experts to answer your most frequently asked questions about the benefits to individuals and communities alike.
INFLUENCERS: Amazing Arabella and brother JD.
Young people aged 12 to 17 now being offered vaccines and parents, guardians and carers are asked to urge them to have the jab.
Influencers 17-year-old Amazing Arabella and home-schooled younger brother JD both plan to have the vaccine.
"There's loads of cool events coming up. We all want to go to them. We just want to be out and about and back to normal."
Medicines regulator MHRA has confirmed the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective for 12 to 17 year-olds.
Those aged 12 to 15 will receive their jab at school. There will catch-up appointments for those absent on injection day while those educated at home will also be offered the vaccine.
GP Dr Farzana Hussain confirms the vaccination is safe for black, Asian and minority ethnic young people. "COVID infection rates for BAME people are higher and more likely to cause death and serious illness. It is more important for them to be vaccinated."
She recommends concerned parents talk to GPs or community pharmacists.
DR FARZANA HUSSAIN
Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies expert and GP Dr Dawn Harper is a mum of three, who have all been vaccinated. "For the 12 to 15 age group school nurses are thoroughly experienced in managing this. If you’re nervous or worried, you can ask to lie down.
"You can buy over-the-counter anaesthetic cream you can rub into the top of your arm 20 minutes before if you really don’t like needles."
DR DAWN HARPER
Dr Bob Phillips, involved in research, stressed: "Evidence so far suggests risks of disease are still going to be greater than risks of having the vaccine."
Dr Elaine Lockhart, Chair of Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Child and Adolescent Faculty added: "What parents can do is make sure they have the best information.
"Like any decision you have about medical treatment, we’re talking about informed consent".
DR ELAINE LOCKHART
Jabs for 12 to 15 year-olds
Vaccinating your 12-15 year old will ...
- Protect them from COVID-19, keep them in the classroom and allow them to enjoy things they love with friends and family
- Reduce transmission within schools
- Support mental health and wellbeing
How it works
- The jabs are being offered via School Age Immunisation Service in the same way as other vaccination programmes like MMR and HPV for young people
- Each 12 to 15 year-old will be provided with advice and information, usually in the form of a leaflet, for their own use and to share and discuss with parents or guardians before immunisation
- Parents/guardians/carers will receive a letter of consent and be asked to sign it
Help is at hand
Additional information for parents and children about COVID-19 vaccines for 12-15 year-olds is available at nhs.uk/covidvaccine
Jabs for 16 to 17 year-olds
- The vaccine has been tested and approved by top scientists
- Vaccinated people are less likely to pass the virus on to elderly family members and are far less likely to get COVID-19, be admitted to hospital or die.
- Getting the jab means you won’t miss out on the things that matter this autumn such as meeting mates, attending parties, school/uni/college, travel, festivals, family gatherings and Christmas celebrations
How to get the jab
Just book with your GP now or visit your nearest walk-in centre when you’re passing one
You can even go with your mates after school or book online – it’s as simple as that
To find your most convenient walk-in centre or book online, visit nhs.uk/covidvaccine
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