'A new option for parents'
Parents in York and North Yorkshire can now book COVID-19 vaccinations for their 12-15-year-old children through the online NHS National Booking Service.
This is a new option for parents of 12-15-year-olds and is in addition to the schools' vaccination programme which is underway in North Yorkshire and York.
'Parents may still choose to book online'
If a child has already been invited through their school, parents may still choose to book their child's vaccination at a vaccination site. They can book their child in for a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine through the online booking service or they can ring 119.
NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Chief Nurse, Sue Peckitt, said: "It is welcome news that parents and guardians can book a COVID-19 jab for their children at vaccination hubs, in addition to the schools' vaccination option.
"It's an important step forward in tackling the rates of COVID infection among children and young people in York and North Yorkshire. Hundreds of children in our schools are being infected with COVID-19 which is interrupting their education and the daily routine of the schools because of self-isolation."
NHS North Yorkshire CCG Accountable Officer, Amanda Bloor, added: "In North Yorkshire and York the vaccine programme has remained agile and responsive since it launched last December, and I would encourage anyone eligible for a jab – whether it's their first dose or they're due a booster dose – to take up that offer.
The large vaccination site at Askham Bar on the outskirts of York and the Homecare Pharmacy site in Knaresborough are among those to have appointments available for 12-15 year olds via the National Booking Service. Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium, the Northern Echo Arena in Darlington, and Leeds United's Elland Road stadium are among other available venues which parents may choose to access.
NHS Vale of York CCG Clinical Chair, Dr Nigel Wells, said: "Vaccines are safe, will protect children and their families from COVID and will help prevent further disruption to education. As we head into the winter months, it is more important than ever that young people get their vaccine as soon as possible to help protect themselves and their loved ones.”
Parents and guardians will be advised to attend vaccination sites with their children if they want them to get jabbed outside of school hours and consent will be sought on the day. They are being asked to read the patient information in advance of arriving for their appointment. This can also be accessed online.
Parents are being advised to keep checking the NHS.uk website as more appointments and vaccination sites become available.
'NHS booster rollout is well underway'
According to the latest Government data, in North Yorkshire and York, more than 649,000 first vaccine doses and 600,000 second doses have now been administered.
The NHS booster and third dose vaccine rollout is well underway with around 6.5 million people nationally already receiving the important top-up jab ahead of winter in just four weeks since the JCVI updated its guidance.
Anyone receiving a text or letter inviting them for a booster jab should come forward as soon as possible to get crucial protection.
'Most critically ill COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated pregnant women'
The NHS has also been vaccinating 16 and 17-year olds with a single dose since the start of August, with hundreds of thousands already protected.
Earlier this month, the NHS encouraged pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as data showed that nearly one in five of the most critically ill COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated pregnant women.