Young people answer the call to ‘grab a jab’

Dr Gary Howsam:

Dr Gary Howsam: “Getting your vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your friends and your family while getting back to doing the things you love.” - Credit: Archant

More than two-thirds of 16 to 17-year-olds in East Cambridgeshire have answered the call to ‘grab a jab’ and have received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. 

Public Health England data shows 1,473 people aged 16 and 17 in East Cambridgeshire had received a jab by September 4. 

That is 70 per cent of the age group, based on the number of people on the National Immunisation Management Service database. 

And much higher than the 49 per cent average across England. 

The figures were released as pupils across England return to school after the summer holidays, amid a warning over a potential rise in cases. 

Vaccinators on Tour are playing a major part in making it easier for young people to receive the Pfizer vaccine.  

Young people attending the walk-in clinics only need to bring a face covering; ID and NHS number are not required.  

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Dr Gary Howsam, chair of the Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “After an incredibly tough year for young people, this is a great positive step”.  

He added: “Getting your vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your friends and your family while getting back to doing the things you love.” 

Uptake varied widely across the country – in Hart in the South East, 72 per cent of 16 to 17-year-olds had received a jab by September 4, while the lowest uptake, 23 per cent, was recorded in in the London borough of Hackney. 

Those aged 16 and 17 became eligible for a vaccine last month and pop-up vaccination centres were set up at events such as music festivals to encourage uptake. 

The Department for Education said contingency measures were in place if schools were to see an increase in cases. 

Discussions on whether to allow 12 to 15-year-olds who do not have underlying health conditions to be vaccinated are also ongoing. 

The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation said the benefit is considered too small to support a rollout – but Professor Chris Whitty and the three other chief medical officers in the UK are now reviewing the wider benefits of vaccinating the age group. 

The re-opening of schools in Scotland last month is believed to have contributed to a rise in cases there and there are fears the same will happen in England. 

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