GPs are urging 16 and 17-year-olds to come forward for their free Covid-19 jab as new vaccination sites open across north east London.
Another 25 community pharmacies will be delivering vaccinations from tomorrow (27 August) and with schools and colleges returning in September and case rates remaining high, those aged 16 and 17 are being reminded that Covid-19 does not only affect older people.
Getting vaccinated reduces your chances of getting Covid-19 at school or college and potentially spreading it to your family; and from having to isolate with the virus and missing out on going out with friends. It also reduces your chances of getting seriously ill.
Letters have been sent to 16 and 17-year-olds in Barking and Dagenham, Hackney and the City of London, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, inviting them to come to their nearest walk-in vaccination centre. Text messages are now also being issued.
Anyone in this age group can easily find their nearest centre through the ‘Grab a Jab’ NHS online walk-in finder (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/). There is no need to pre-book and no need to bring a parent or guardian; you can simply walk in and have your jab.
More than 500,000 people aged 16 and 17 have already had their Covid-19 vaccination in the UK.
Dr Jagan John, GP and Chair of NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The last year and a half has been especially tough on our young people who have missed out on lots of parts of normal teenage life, as well as school.
“Getting vaccinated not only helps protect them, the people they care about and our local NHS, but is the only way we are all going to be able to get back to normality.
“I know many young people are thinking of applying to university next year and will be hoping to have more face-to-face tuition and the normal university experience and they can help make this happen by doing their part and getting vaccinated.”
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) updated national guidance on 4 August so that all 16 and 17-year-olds could be offered one dose of the vaccine.
The National Booking Service (NBS) is currently open to anyone aged 18 or over, and to people within three months of their 18th birthday.