Wednesday, 20 Oct 2021

Students could miss out on face-to-face lessons if not vaccinated – parents warned

Coronavirus vaccines for 12 year olds 'under review' says Harden

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Although Nadhim Zahawi and Sajid Javid wrote a letter to parents urging them to get their children vaccinated, headteachers have complained the rollout in schools has been slow. In their letter, the Education and Health Secretaries insisted parents must ensure pupils are able to remain in face-to-face learning. The pair also told parents vaccinating their young children was the best thing they can do to protect themselves and others around them.

Despite the letter, Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders said the rollout had been “hugely frustrating”.

He said: “In some cases, the vaccinations have started to happen but not enough trained staff have turned up to schools.

“Or they say ‘we will do it next week’ and then they shift it to another date.

“It is hugely frustrating.

“At the moment there are question marks over how seriously it is being taken.”

The UK’s chief medical officers approved the vaccine for 12-15-year-olds on September 13.

They claimed it will help “reduce educational disruption” although the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation did not recommend the jab.

According to NHS figures, just 218,262 under-18s have received both doses of a vaccine.

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A further 1,020,524 under-18s have received a single shot of a vaccine as of October 3.

In the letter, the two Secretaries of State said in their letter: “We know that students have missed a lot of time in school and college since the pandemic started, and that there is no substitute for face-to-face learning.

“Keeping students in the classroom in the coming months is therefore a Government priority, both for their immediate and longer-term wellbeing.

“Young people who get ill will need to miss school or college, and may spread it to others.

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“That is why we are encouraging you all to support your children to get vaccinated and to continue to test regularly.

“This will help to detect cases early, reduce spread, and keep students in education.”

Children between the ages of 12-15, will receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine during school hours.

Parents or guardians will receive a letter or email informing them of when the vaccine will be offered.

They will also be asked to provide consent, confirming they are happy for their children to receive the vaccine.

If a child has tested positive for COVID-19, they must wait four weeks before they can receive a vaccine.

Commenting on the vaccine, Mr Javid said last month: “I have accepted the unanimous recommendation from the UK Chief Medical Officers to offer vaccination to those aged 12 to 15.

“This will protect young people from catching COVID-19, reduce transmission in schools and help keep pupils in the classroom.”

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