Vaccination programme for 12 to 15 year olds

OAT/ALA/September 2021

21 September 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

Re: Vaccination programme for 12 to 15 year olds

As you will no doubt be aware, the government announced on 13th September 2021 that young people, aged 12 to 15 years old, are now eligible to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This decision follows advice from the UK’s chief medical officers, who have said that rolling out the vaccine to this age group will help to reduce disruption to young people receiving face-to-face education in the classroom. I am writing to you today as we have now received the government guidance on how schools are expected to support Public Health England’s programme, which includes using school sites as venues for the vaccination programme to ensure easy access for all young people.

The Academy is required to support this programme by:

  • Providing details of pupils on roll to the local NHS’ School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) provider so they know which children are eligible for the vaccine.
  • Sharing the NHS’ SAIS information leaflet, consent form and invitation letter with our parents and carers. 
  • Providing space at the Academy for the vaccination programme to take place and allowing for time away from the timetable where needed to enable vaccines to be administered.

The programme will be delivered by the local NHS-commissioned SAIS team which will include nurses, healthcare support workers, administrative staff, and other associated professionals who specialise in the delivery of school age vaccinations. The vaccines will be administered by healthcare professionals with appropriate qualifications, following the usual approach to school-based immunisation.

Please note that the NHS’ SAIS will be the primary provider of the vaccination programme for healthy 12 to 15 year olds and will be legally responsible for the delivery of the vaccine, not the Academy.

We would also like to reassure you that as an Academy we will not make any decisions about your child’s vaccination. The NHS’ SAIS consent form will offer you and your child the choice as to whether your child takes up the offer of a vaccine or not. This form will also provide contact details for the NHS’ SAIS should you have any further questions about the vaccine or the consent process.

Whilst it will be the NHS’ SAIS who will be running and administering the programme, the health and safety of our pupils is our top priority, and as such we will ensure that the vaccination programme is carried out in line with our safeguarding and health and safety procedures and creates minimal disruption to the school day.  We are currently working with the relevant organisations and bodies including Public Health England, the NHS and their commissioned SAIS to formalise how and when the vaccine programme will be taking place. We will write to you to update you once the plans are finalised.

You can find more information about the COVID-19 rollout to 12 to 15 year olds by visiting COVID-19 vaccination programme for young people: guidance for parents) and COVID-19 vaccination: resources for children and young people.

Thank you for your ongoing support during this period.

Yours sincerely,

Mr W R Hughes