School jabs: The first under-16s proud to have Covid vaccine

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The doses are being administered by local School Age Immunisation Services, which also handle shots for flu and HPV. They aim to reach most of the three million eligible children by the October half-term.

Jack Lane, 14, was one of the first to get a jab in England, at Belfairs Academy in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. He said: “I am proud to have had it so that I can remain in school. The jab was quick, easy and painless.”

Others taking part were Molly Rowe, 15, and her cousin Harry Yates, 14, at Fernhill Community Centre in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It’s encouraging to see 12-15-year-olds starting to get their vaccinations – reflecting our ongoing commitment to protect young people from Covid-19 and minimise any disruption to their education.”

Letters are being sent to parents asking for consent. Where children and parents disagree, teenagers will be able to make the final call if they have enough understanding. Immunisation teams will help families decide.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “Whatever decision teenagers and parents take, they must be supported and not stigmatised in any way.”

Meanwhile, a trial has shown that giving five to 11-year-olds smaller doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab — two 10 microgram doses — has a similar effect to two 30 microgram shots given to people aged 12 and over.

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