Healthy teenagers have started to receive Covid jabs as part of a drive to get more people protected ahead of winter.
Children aged between 12 and 15-years-old will be offered a single dose of Pfizer with the aim of significantly reducing the chance of a young person getting Covid-19 and passing the virus on.
The vaccine rollout will largely be delivered within schools and parental consent will not be needed if a child is considered competent to make a decision by themselves.
Up to three million children in the UK will be offered a single dose of the vaccine as part of the plans.
Worcester GP Jason Seewoodhary urged as many people as possible to get vaccinated and said getting the jab would reduce the chances of students missing education because of Covid.
“The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme to 12-to–15-year-olds started this week following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI), which was accepted by the four UK Chief Medical Officers,” he said.
“A single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will benefit this age group by significantly reducing the chance of a young person getting Covid and passing it on to others.
“It is part of the drive to get more people protected ahead of winter as the pandemic continues.
“It will significantly reduce the likelihood of Covid-19 infection disrupting the education and professional development of our children.
“The vaccine is safe and effective, and I would urge all members of our community to get vaccinated – the NHS Covid vaccination programme has already prevented 24 million cases and saved more than 112,000 lives.
“The Covid-19 vaccination programme for 12–to-15-year-olds is expected to be delivered primarily within schools.
“Parental consent will not be needed if a child is deemed competent to make a decision for themselves.”
As of September 19, a total of 423,815 people in Worcestershire have been vaccinated against Covid-19 having received both vaccines doses – around 81 per cent of the county’s population.
Just over 63 per cent of 16-to-17-year-olds in Worcestershire have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.