YOUNG people in Warrington are being urged to sign up to receiving the lifesaving coronavirus vaccine as it becomes available.

This comes as 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to book their Covid-19 jabs through the National Booking Service from 6pm today, Friday.

More than half of that age group across the north west have already received their vaccine through a wide range of local walk-in clinics, including pop-up services at schools and sixth form colleges.

People can continue to use the online site finder to find their nearest walk-in vaccine clinic, while the online booking service offers an additional way for people aged 16 and 17 to get a single shot of Pfizer in line with JCVI advice.

Thousands of texts will be sent to eligible teenagers nationally in the coming days, with messages appearing as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and including a web link to the NHS website to make a booking.

It is the latest phase of the NHS Covid vaccination programme – the biggest and most successful in health service history.

Warrington Guardian:

More than 9.7million vaccine doses have been given across the north west, part of 78million in England.

Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, regional director of commissioning, said: “Across the north west, the NHS vaccination programme continues to be a success as more than half of young people aged 16 and 17 are now vaccinated.

“Opening up the National Booking Service for those aged 16 and 17 will make it easier than ever for young people to plan their vaccination around their social and academic commitments.

“The vaccine is safe and effective, and will mean we can continue to do the things we enjoy most safely through the vital protection it gives to individuals, their family and friends.”

NHS staff and volunteers have been vaccinating on university campuses at pop-up clinics and walk-in centres in the north west, urging students to get their jab or second dose during freshers and get protected as the new academic year begins.

Vaccine services across the north west have also started to roll out the booster vaccine to eligible people following JCVI guidance, which advises that everyone aged 50 and over, as well as clinically vulnerable individuals and frontline health and social care workers, receives a top-up dose.

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Meanwhile, the NHS has also started to roll out the Covid-19 jab to school children aged 12 to 15.

Almost three million children in this age group are eligible for one dose of the Pfizer vaccine following the Government’s acceptance of the UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommendation.

Jabs began in hundreds of schools across the country this week, with the NHS vaccination programme rolling out to others in the coming weeks.

Like the flu vaccine, Covid jabs will be delivered by local school age immunisation services who will work closely with schools to identify all eligible children.

In line with standard practice for vaccinations in schools, consent letters are being sent out to parents and guardians with information on the Covid-19 vaccination.

Families do not need to contact the NHS to arrange their child’s vaccine, as schools and providers will be in touch.