Council welcomes decision to vaccinate 12–15 year olds

Published Tuesday 14 September 2021 at 8:42

Blackburn with Darwen Council welcomes the Chief Medical Officers’ recommendation to offer the Covid vaccine to all 12 to 15 year olds in England.

Prof Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health for BwD, said:

We welcomed yesterday’s news – it’s something that the Council has been lobbying for since June when the MHRA first approved the Pfizer vaccine as safe and effective for all 12 to 15 year olds.

With 23% of Blackburn with Darwen residents under the age of 16 years – the 8th youngest population in all areas of England – our residents collectively have less protection from the Covid vaccine as we head into autumn and winter.

Given what we know about the likely continuing spread of the virus over winter, it is highly likely that most young people will be exposed to Covid infection at some point in the coming months.

Vaccinating this age group will help to prevent further spread of Coronavirus, through our schools and also through household transmission.

We’re seeing growing evidence that 12 to 15 year olds are asking to be vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

The UK is now well behind many European countries and North America in offering the Covid vaccine to children under 16 years. The evidence from these countries is that the vaccine is safe and effective for children and young people.

Councillor Julie Gunn, Executive Member for Children, Young People & Education, said:

Getting vaccinated is our best line of defence against Covid, whatever our age.

As our young people look forward to a more ‘normal’ academic year, we want to support them to keep well and stay in school. Inviting 12 to 15 year olds to get vaccinated will be a huge boost.

We anticipate that roll-out of the vaccine to this age group will be done through schools with support from the NHS – as with other childhood vaccinations like HPV and the teenage booster vaccines for tetanus, diphtheria and polio.

We will provide support to schools to facilitate vaccination swiftly, and will work with parents and carers to help them make informed decisions about taking up the Covid vaccination offer for their children in the coming weeks.

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