All sixteen and 17-year-olds in England are expected to be able to book a vaccine from the 23rd August, the government has announced.
The health secretary has confirmed that all teenagers aged 16 and 17 will be able to book a Covid-19 vaccine before the end of August. Sajid Javid said that setting this ambitious target would enable students to achieve a level of immunity before college and school terms begin.
As with adults, 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to book their first vaccine, but no second vaccine will be scheduled at the point of making the first appointment. Eligible individuals will be sent a letter or a text message inviting them to book their vaccine through their GP or to visit a local walk-in site. NHS England is launching a walk-in site finder to help young people find their nearest drop-in centre.
Tens of thousands of teens have already had their first vaccine across the UK after the JCVI recommended the jab for 16 and 17-year-olds earlier this summer. Previously, only under 18s with underlying health conditions and those who lived with vulnerable people were able to access the vaccine. Vaccinating this age group will hopefully help to lower the number of cases among older teens and protect individuals and their families and friends as schools and colleges prepare to welcome students back for the start of the autumn term.
The most recent data, which runs to August 11th, shows that 70% of 18-29-year-olds in England have had their first dose.
Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS medical director of primary care and deputy lead for the vaccination programme in England, said that the NHS is doing everything possible to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine is able to have one before they start a new term at school or college or enter employment for the first time. Over 16s will not need parental consent to have the vaccine.
The government estimates that up to the 6th August, the vaccine programme has saved around 86,000 lives and prevented 66,000 hospitalisations and 23.4 million infections.
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