High demand for Covid-19 vaccine amongst 12-15 year olds in Hertfordshire

More than 6,900 pupils in the county’s secondary schools have had the vaccine

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 12:50 pm

Public health bosses in Hertfordshire have had to draft in more staff to vaccinate school children against Covid-19, in order to meet demand.

Latest data shows that those aged between 12 and 15 are among the most likely to have the virus in the county.

It records the overall rate of infection in Hertfordshire as being around 350 per 100,000 population – but amongst the 12-15-year-olds that rate is 1,674.

The image has been used for illustrative purposes (C) Jordan Lewington

Just three weeks ago the government gave the go-ahead for school children – aged between 12 and 15 – to be given the jab.

And already more than 6,900 pupils in the county’s secondary schools – that’s one in 10 – have had the vaccine.

Speaking at a virtual media briefing on Tuesday, October 5, director of public health Jim McManus said the vaccine uptake amongst 12-15-year-olds had been higher than expected.

And he said they had had to draft more people into schools to help.

Meanwhile, Mr McManus stressed that the vaccination booster’ programme has also started in the county.

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They also include over-16s with a health condition that puts them at a higher risk of getting seriously ill with Covid-19 and those over 16 who live with someone with certain health conditions.

Residents within these groups are eligible for a booster jab six months after their second vaccination.

And, Mr McManus said they will be contacted by their GP practice or the national NHS booking system when it is time to come forward.

Mr McManus stresses that although case rates are higher than they were last year, hospital admissions are lower.

And highlighting the role of the vaccination programme, he says: “One of the reasons we have managed to have some form of normality is because of the sheer number of people taking the vaccine up.

“If we didn’t have the number of people taking the vaccine up the hospitals would be much fuller and there would be many more people dying than there are now.”

And he added: “The best present you can give yourself is getting vaccinated – and the best present you can give others is getting vaccinated.”

Although four per cent of people who are double vaccinated could still need hospital treatment for Covid-19, Mr McManus stresses that it is those who are not vaccinated who are getting seriously ill.

And he says current data suggests that less than one per cent of people in hospital in Hertfordshire being treated for Covid-19 have had both doses of the vaccine.