As the NHS continues to drive forward with the Covid-19 vaccination programme, the National Booking Service has now been opened up to allow parents and guardians of 12-15 year olds to book appointments for their children.
People will be able to use the online booking tool to see if their local site has appointments to vaccinate children and young people.
The booking service will provide an additional option for parents to book a vaccine appointment for their child, alongside the schools programme which has already vaccinated nearly half a million young people and visited thousands of schools.
If a child has already been vaccinated through their school, they do not need to act on their invite, unless parents wish to have their child vaccinated outside of school.
The expansion of the vaccination programme is designed to help offer parents with an extra option to get their children vaccinated, helping increase flexibility.
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.
Since the first vaccine jabs to be delivered outside of clinical trials, in December 2020 in Coventry, the NHS has carried out 83 million vaccine doses and nearly 9 in 10 adults have received at least their first dose.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and Deputy Lead for the NHS vaccine programme, said: “As we head in to October half term, the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme is opening up vaccine centres to young people aged 12 to 15 as another way to get their vaccine – if they have already received their vaccine or been invited through their school then they do not need to do anything.
“The decision to get vaccinated has always been a private choice between a child and their parent or guardian – my 13-year-old son received his vaccine at school on the same day I had my booster dose in a local pharmacy. I would urge families to look at the information together and then book in to give children and their loved ones crucial protection ahead of winter”.
Lead for NHS vaccination programme for school aged children, Nick Hulme, added: “The schools-based vaccination drive builds on the hugely successful NHS Covid vaccination programme, which has delivered more than 83 million doses to nine in ten adults, and the well-established school immunisation services that vaccinate children every year.
“By offering an additional way to get vaccinated, the next phase of the roll out will make it even more accessible and convenient for school children to get vaccinated”.