Published on 17 Februrary 2022.
With COVID-19 cases still rising for school-aged children in many parts of the country, the COVID-19 vaccine provides the most important protection that children and young people can get.
By getting vaccinated, children and young people can reduce the risk of passing on the infection to others in their family and those they come into contact with. Getting the vaccine can also make it easier for children and young people to avoid putting their lives and their education on hold because of further disruption to schools, hobbies and social events due to the virus.
Ensuring children and young people can get both doses of their COVID-19 vaccine is an important priority for Salford CCG. We have been vaccinating children aged 12-15 in schools, through existing school-aged immunisation services that provide other vaccines, such as flu.
Most 12-15 year olds can get their first or second dose of the vaccine outside of school, 12 weeks apart, making it even easier for them to get protected. They can do this by using the National Booking Service which includes established sites across the city, such as community pharmacies, GPs and vaccination centres. You can also get vaccinated at one our local walk-in vaccination sites, which do not even require an appointment.
For a small proportion of 12-15 year olds, the options are different. Those who are more at risk from the virus or who live with someone who has a severely weakened immune system can get their second dose 8 weeks after their first, and a further ‘booster’ dose from three months (91 days) after their second. Those who have had a severely weakened immune system can get a third primary dose from 8 weeks after their second dose, then receive a booster from three months (91 days) later.
Since the NHS first began vaccinating school-aged children, more than 2.1 million doses of the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine have now been given to young people aged 12-15, protecting them and their families.
It is also not too late for a first vaccine, so we urge all who have not yet come forward to do so – to get the best protection for themselves, for their families and their communities. Children in England who have had a full course of a COVID-19 vaccination are eligible for an NHS COVID Pass letter for travel. This will allow those children who have had both doses of an approved vaccine to travel to countries which now require 12-15 year olds to be fully vaccinated in order to gain entry, avoid isolation, or access venues or services.
The virus has not gone away. Infection rates are high. Young people are missing out on their education, work and their lives because of COVID-related illness. And we are still learning about the long-term damage the virus can do.
This Half Term Holiday, protect your family, protect yourself and get vaccinated.
Click here to see the latest vaccination clinics in Salford.