Children aged 12 to 15 in England are set to get their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, after ministers heeded advice from Britain’s Chief Medical Officers.
The move has left many speculating how the rollout will work and whether parents will have the right to veto their child getting vaccinated if they disagree.
The vaccine minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said vaccinations will be made available for 12-15 year olds from Monday 20 September.
Parental consent will be sought by each school and the minister said sufficient time will be given for parents to provide their consent. Children aged 12 to 15 will be provided with information in the form of a leaflet for their own use and to share and discuss with their parents prior to the date of the immunisation.
Mr Zahawi added: “Parental, guardian or carer consent will be sought by the school age immunisation providers prior to vaccination in line with other school vaccination programmes.
“In the rare event that there is a situation a parent does not consent but the child or the teenager wants to have the vaccine, then there is a process by which the school age vaccination clinician will bring initially the parent and the child to see whether they can reach consensus and if not, if the child is deemed to be competent, then the vaccination will take place.”
Children will only be offered the Pfizer jab despite both Pfizer and Moderna being approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for all people over the age of 12. It is thought the reason why is because the Government has ordered much more of the Pfizer jab.
Image above: Anti-vaxx protestors at Parliament Square
LB Hounslow welcomes child vaccines and warns anti-vaxxers against disruptions
LB Hounslow have welcomed the news that vaccination will be given to to 12-15 year olds and is supporting school faculty to help deliver the immunisations smoothly. Councillor Tom Bruce, the Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Youth Services also issued a warning against anti-vaxx protestors disrupting this phase of the vaccination programme.
Many vaccine sceptics consider the safety of children against vaccination high on their list of priorities. Protestors at anti-vaxx events often carry banners and placards which have ‘Don’t Vax The Children’ or ‘Save The Children’ written on them.
Anti-vaxx protestors have protested outside major vaccination centres, sometimes blocking those who wish to be vaccinated from entering.
Cllr Bruce said:
“Our schools have been asked by the Government to be the locations for the delivery of the vaccinations to 12-15 year olds and we are supporting them as much as possible as they prepare to carry out this important task by seeking consent from parents. Headteachers, teachers and the wider school community continue to pull together to enable children across the borough to stay on track with their education safely in their classrooms this term, as we all learn to live alongside COVID-19.
“We recognise their incredible, on-going, efforts to help keep everyone safe. Along with flu vaccinations, it is essential that schools are able to deliver the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations to pupils in a safe and efficient way for the benefit of all concerned as well as to help protect the NHS from the anticipated winter demand. We want to be clear: any attempts from outside the school community to disrupt this phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme will be treated very seriously.”
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features
Support The Chiswick Calendar
The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.
We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.
To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.