Parents in north London urged to get their teens vaccinated

Highgate Well Pharmacy is one of seven branches offering Covid-19 booster vaccines

Parents are urged to get children aged 12 to 17 vaccinated against Covid - Credit: PA

Parents in north London are being urged to get any children aged 12 to 17 vaccinated against Covid.

The NHS and the Department for Education are calling for young people to be vaccinated so they can keep their learning on track.

The drive comes as Hackney has one of the lowest vaccination rates in England with just 26% of 12 to16-year-olds vaccinated with the first dose and 37.5% of 16 to 17-year-olds.

In Islington only 38.8% of 12 to 16-year-olds have received the first dose and 44.8% of 16 to 17-year-olds.

In Camden the figures were also low with 43.5% of under 16s jabbed and 51% of 16 to 17-year-olds.

The national average for first doses in England is 54.6% for 12 to 15-year-olds and 66.9% for 16 to 17-year-olds.

Covid-19 remains highly infectious and continues to cause disruption to education with absence rates remaining high.

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Government figures show more than one in ten (10.3%) pupils were absent from secondary school in Hackney due to Covid on December 16.

In Camden the figures were 6.8% and in Islington the numbers were lower with 2.5% of pupils absent, compared to 3.2% nationally on the same date.

Southwark was highest with 12.3%.

Dr Sarah Husbands, director of Public Health for Hackney said: "Vaccination provides the best protection against COVID-19 and will help prevent further disruption to the wellbeing of young people caused by absence from education and isolation from their friends and family.

"Advice and support is available locally for children and their parents to help answer any questions they have about vaccination, through the Council, the NHS and outreach teams visiting schools.

"I urge everyone who is eligible, regardless of age, to get vaccinated against Covid-19 to protect themselves and to prevent the spread of the virus."

Young people who have recently tested positive for Covid need to wait 12 weeks after testing positive with the virus before they can get vaccinated but they are encouraged to book as soon as they can. 

Pupils will get advanced information for most GCSEs, AS and A levels this summer to help target revision in response to interrupted education caused by the pandemic.