COVID-19 vaccine: Rollout of the school immunisation programme
Recently, the school COVID-19 immunisation programme was extended to include 12–15-year-olds. Dorothy Lepkowska discusses the rollout
The UK government's announcement that the vaccination programme would be extended to 12–15-year-olds, and would begin on September 20, felt long overdue to many.
While their peers in much of Europe and the United States had already been vaccinated earlier in the summer, teenagers in this country were to return to school for the new academic year unvaccinated and with few, if any, mitigations in place to curb infections.
It came as little surprise, therefore, that by the beginning of October, official Department for Education (2021) figures showed that more than 200 000 pupils were off school for COVID-related reasons – or 2.5% of the school population. In the previous 2 weeks, infections levels had grown by more than two thirds. Furthermore, an estimated ten children have died from COVID since the new school year began, including a 15-year old girl from the South of England, who passed away on the day she was due to have the jab (BBC, 2021). She had developed myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, days after contracting the virus.
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