Some UK schools have already started scheduling Covid vaccinations for 12- to 15-year-old children despite the fact that they’ve not been approved for that age group yet.
This week, in a dramatic u-turn from just two weeks ago, so called experts from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) expanded the vaccination drive to include 1.4million 16- and 17-year-olds. They also revealed that parental consent would NOT be needed.
The government’s top scientists also laid the groundwork for over-12s to be vaccinated later in the year.
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The Mail Online reports: And now the oldest teenagers are being offered their first dose at walk-in centres in Northern Ireland, while some GPs in England are also already inviting them for jabs.
England will offer Covid vaccines to the age group at walk-ins from next week, when Scotland and Wales are also set to invite the oldest teenagers for their first dose.
John Ferneley College in Leicestershire jumped the gun on vaccinating under-16s by telling parents of children in years eight to eleven that pupils would be vaccinated at the school.
n a letter, the school said first doses would be dished in mid-September and the second in early January 2022.
It comes as a university announced it is offering cash prizes to students who can prove they have been fully vaccinated against Covid in an effort to drive take-up of the jabs.
All students at Sussex University are being entered into a draw, with 10 winners receiving £5,000 if they can prove they are double-jabbed or exempt.
Professor Adam Tickell, the university’s vice-chancellor, denied the move amounted to ‘bribing’ students to get vaccinated.
The prize draw will take place at the end of November to allow students time to get vaccinated.
One parent whose two children are at John Ferneley College told the Daily Telegraph: ‘I was just shocked that they were even planning dates. It just makes you think this is definitely planned that this is going to happen at some point in the next few months.
‘My main worry is will my children still be able to go to school if they don’t have it?’
Molly Kingsley, co-founder of the parent campaign group UsForThem, said NHS trusts and schools are ‘creating a presumption as to the JCVI decision’.
She added: ‘This is wrong for many reasons but not least because it shows they are creating pressure towards a course of action without regard to the medical benefits or risks to the children supposedly in their care.’
Meanwhile, universities are offering out incentives to students to book their first jabs.
Professor Tickell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We’re going to automatically enter every student in, and unless they have said they want to opt out, after we’ve given them the opportunity to have vaccines — this will be about 12 weeks after the announcement — we’ll just randomly choose 10 names.
‘If they can prove they’ve been double vaccinated, or indeed if they are medically exempt, we’ll make them the award.’
He added: ‘We’re not bribing them. What we’re doing is we’re just giving an incentive.’