Politics

Parents urged to book jabs for children as official Covid deaths pass 150,000



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arents of 12 to 15-year-olds have been urged to book Covid-19 vaccinations for their children as official figures showed more than 150,000 people have now died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.

Around half a million vaccination appointments are being made available online in England for the age group during January, a senior doctor has said – with slots available at around 500 walk-in sites and 300 centres.

The plea comes as the official Covid death total reached 150,057, meaning the UK is the seventh country to pass the milestone – following the US, Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico and Peru.

Boris Johnson recognised the “terrible toll” of coronavirus on the country, while a scientist advising the Government labelled it an “absolute tragedy” made worse because “many of them were avoidable if we had acted earlier in the first and second wave”.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the NHS vaccine programme, said: “I know how much disruption Covid has caused for so many families over the past two years, affecting young people’s lives and education.

“Getting vaccinated protects them, their family and their friends, letting them stay at school and continue socialising.

“The vaccine is safe and effective – my 13-year-old son had his first vaccination when I had my booster at our local pharmacy and it gave us both reassurance that he was protected as well, and he has recently topped up his protection with a second dose.

“Young people can get their life-saving protection at a walk-in site or wait to get vaccinated at school, but the best way to make sure it happens quickly and conveniently is to book online now.”

Dr Nikki Kanani urged parents to book vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds (Tolga Akmen/PA) / PA Wire

More than 1.4 million young people aged 12 to 15 have had their first dose since September.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Keeping children in school is so important for their education, health and wellbeing.

“Vaccines will protect young people from Omicron, help to keep schools open and protect their friends and families.



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