COVID-19 Vaccinations for 12 to 15 year olds

You will have heard the national announcement on Monday regarding the vaccination of children aged 12-15 years.

Sussex NHS are responsible for delivering the programme and have asked schools to share the information in the box below with parents:

The Government has announced that people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, following advice from the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs).

The government has accepted the advice of the four UK CMOs and the NHS is preparing to deliver a schools-based vaccination programme, which is the successful model used for vaccinations including for HPV and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP), supported by GPs and community pharmacies. Invitations for vaccination will begin next week.

In Sussex, plans have been developed to run vaccination sessions in schools and over the next six weeks each school will be offered a visit to provide the vaccination for 12 to 15 year old students. Parental, guardian or carer consent will be sought by vaccination healthcare staff prior to vaccination in line with existing school vaccination programmes.

We will write out to every parent, guardian or carer with the details of this session, the consent process, and next steps.

In the meantime, we recognise that you may have questions – please visit https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme for the latest information.

Felpham Community College

First and foremost, it is important to confirm that any such vaccination is not mandatory. 

For obvious reasons relating to a potentially complex decision-making process, FCC and indeed the majority of schools support the following:

  • Independent information on the potential benefits and risks associated with the vaccination for 12-15 year olds should be made available to all parents/carers, and 12-15 year olds
  • Any advice must come from the Department of Health and not schools
  • Any vaccinations will only be delivered by medically trained staff and not by school staff
  • No child, parent or carer should be stigmatised whatever their decision on this matter

At this point, I must make clear that I am not qualified to advise on what decision should be taken.

Today I contacted WSCC to seek clarification on the issue of consent. I have been informed that the vaccination team would not be able to give the vaccination to any child who just turns up as permissions will all be logged online in advance.

As ever, I hope that this proactive and straightforward communication is helpful.  I will, of course, update you further as advised by WSCC, the Department for Education and Department of Health.  

Mark Anstiss

Headteacher

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