Hartlepool health chief backs Covid jabs for 12-to -5-year-olds - and urges families to support rollout
A Hartlepool health chief has welcomed the approval of Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 12 and upwards and urged families to back the jabs.
Craig Blundred, Director of Public Health at Hartlepool Borough Council, said he and colleagues across the North East were in favour of the Government move to extend the vaccine invites to youngsters aged 12 to 15.
They are due to be rolled out in schools from next week after health leaders approved first doses of the Pfizer vaccine for over-12s on Monday.
Mr Blundred said: “I really welcome the opportunity for children aged 12-15 to receive vaccination against COVID-19 and would encourage children and families across Hartlepool to take up the offer.
"Our NHS has an incredible track record of delivering vaccination programmes in schools safely and has been preparing to incorporate this option.
"Directors of Public Health across the North East believe the combination of individual health protection and the potential to minimise disruption of education strongly supports the offer of vaccination.”
He added it was important everyone continues to follow precautions by washing our hands, keeping a safe distance from others and covering our faces.
The Government’s chief medical officers said the jab will help reduce disruption to children’s education.
Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said in the House of Commons on Monday, September 13, the vaccine was already being offered to youngsters aged 12-15 in France, Spain, Italy, Israel and America.
He said: “The advice we’ve received from the four Chief Medical Officers today sets out their view that 12 to 15-year-olds will benefit from vaccination against Covid-19.
“We will follow that advice and continue on that vital path that is making more and more people in this country safe.”
Mr Zahawi said children will only be able to have a vaccination against their parents’ wishes following a meeting with a clinician.
Meanwhile, another walk-in vaccination clinic will take place in Middleton Grange car park on Park Road next to TJ Hughes on Saturday, September 18.
It will be open from 10am-6pm to anyone aged 16 and over and no appointment is needed.
First and second doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines will be available.
People must have waited be at least eight weeks between the same first and second dose.