Health workers formulate plans to vaccinate children against Covid

Covid vaccine vial.

Plans to vaccinate children are being formulated as health workers await a government announcement about a universal vaccine offer for 12-15 year olds. - Credit: Hackney council

Children in Hackney could be offered Covid vaccines at weekends to avoid disrupting lessons.

Health workers are still awaiting a government announcement about a universal vaccine offer for 12-15-year-olds but have been asked to plan how they would do it.

They have already been asked to vaccinate clinically vulnerable children aged 12 to 15 and are contacting the 15,000 on their list in Hackney.

These children will be offered the jab at the local vaccine centres – Bocking Street and the John Scott Health Centre in Hackney – and in special schools.

Nina Griffin, from Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust, said: “At the centres we will find dedicated weekend times to invite children so we don’t disrupt schools and so that we can create a more child-friendly environment and at specific child’s time.”

She told the City and Hackney outbreak control board (September 9) that public health bosses have been asked to plan the mobilisation of a vaccination programme for other children if it is extended to all of them.

She said they were looking at offering vaccines at the local vaccine centres and at schools.

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Stephanie Coughlin from the Lower Clapton Practice Group pointed out that some schools may not be receptive to having vaccines delivered there, or some estates.

“There are emotions round that,” she said.

At the moment they are not visiting colleges to give 16- 17-year-olds their vaccines but will look into it.

Health bosses have also been warned “to expect a difficult year with flu”, she added.
Flu jabs are likely to be given to people sooner than any Covid booster jabs, if those are offered, she explained.

Hackney Covid cases in the 0-19 age group, in the week ending September 7,  were around 177 per 100,000 people. 

The rate was slightly higher than the 60+ age group during the same period at 144 cases per 100,000 people. 

The 20-39 age group had the highest incidence of the disease at 261 per 100,000 people, but has seen a significant drop in cases in recent weeks since a peak of 966 cases per 100,000 people in July.