Government plans to roll out the coronavirus vaccine in schools from next week have been revealed.
Starting November 1, schools in Birmingham and across the country will begin offering the vaccine to pupils.
According to the plans, vaccines will be administered on school grounds by NHS staff at 800 locations.
Currently, children between the ages of 12 and 15 are eligible for the vaccination.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the vaccines “will help keep children in the classroom”.
Here’s everything we know so far…
Who is eligible and which schools will offer the vaccine?
The government has not released an official list of schools that are offering vaccines to their pupils, however all children aged between 12 and 15 will be eligible for their first dose.
According to the government website, “now all children aged 12 to 15 years are being offered a first dose of vaccine as part of the school-based COVID-19 vaccination programme”.
It goes on to say: “Children who are 12 years old and over on the day the School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) team visits the school, will be offered a vaccination as part of the in-school vaccination programme.”
Local SAIS provider teams will be in contact with schools to agree on a vaccination session and the best approach for implementing the programme at the site.
Only children of the specified age will be eligible for the vaccine in school.
However, children aged between 12 and 17 have already been offered two doses of the vaccine if they live with someone who if prone to infections or if they have a condition that places them at higher risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19.
How will the school vaccine programme work?
Schools will be expected to share important information with parents about the vaccine.
This could involve leaflets being sent out with information about the jab and signposting parents and children to official sources.
It could also take the form of emails, letters and reminders.
Schools will be required to provide details to their SAIS provider as to which children are eligible to receive the vaccine.
They must share the information leaflet, consent form and invitation letter supplied by the SAIS with parents and children.
The schools will then provide a suitable space within the school and time away from lessons for children to be vaccinated.
Children and parents will be told what to expect as well as when the vaccinations will happen.
Will parent consent be required?
Parent or guardian consent is always required for school vaccine roll-outs.
The Gov.uk website says that consent will be sought by the SAIS provider from the parent of guardian of children aged 12 to 15 – in the same way as for any other school vaccination scheme.
The website states: “A consent form and information leaflet provided by the SAIS team will be used to seek parental consent.
“Parents will also be provided with a contact number for the SAIS team in case of any queries.
“Forms should be returned by the deadline agreed with the team.”
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