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Covid vaccine take up for Tower Hamlets pupils low


3:58 PM February 12, 2022

Parents in Tower Hamlets are being urged to get any children aged 12 to 17 vaccinated against Covid.

The NHS and the Department for Education are calling for young people to get the jab so they can keep their learning on track.

The half-term drive comes as Tower Hamlets has one of the lowest vaccination rates in England with just 35.1% of 12 to 15 year olds vaccinated with the first dose and 49.3% of 16 to 17 year olds.

The national average for first doses in England is 54.6% for 12-15 year olds and 66.9% for 16-17 year olds.

Covid-19 remains highly infectious and it continues to cause disruption to education with absence rates remaining high.

Government figures show 4.2% of pupils were absent from secondary school in Tower Hamlets due to Covid-19 on 16 December, compared to 3.2% nationally on the same date.

Southwark had the highest number of absent pupils with 12.3%.

Vaccinating pupils can help reduce the risk of spreading the virus within schools and colleges, lowering the chance of catching it, and the need to take time-off to recover from any illness, or in some cases, to recuperate from long Covid.

John Biggs, mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “Vaccination remains vitally important in protecting ourselves from Covid-19, especially as we look ahead and learn to live with the virus.

“Throughout the course of the pandemic we have seen Covid-19 impact every part of our society. Children and parents have been particularly affected, with disruptions to education that could have a real impact on our children’s outcomes. Getting vaccinated can help keep our children safe in school and minimise time away from the classroom.

“Half-term is a great time for parents and children to get their Covid-19 vaccine and stay safe, so please get your vaccine this half-term.”

Young people who have recently tested positive for Covid need to wait 12 weeks after testing positive with the virus before they can get vaccinated but they are encouraged to book as soon as they can. 

Pupils will get advanced information for most GCSEs, AS and A levels this summer to help target revision in response to interrupted education caused by the pandemic.

To book a vaccine visit forms.towerhamlets.gov.uk/service/book_a_covid_19_vaccination