Teens aged 16-17 in North Wales urged to come forward for their COVID-19 vaccine
Teenagers aged 16-17 in North Wales are being urged to come forward for their COVID-19 vaccine.
Last week, following updated guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the Welsh Government announced that Wales’ COVID-19 vaccination programme has been expanded to 16-17-year-olds.
Betsi Cadwaladr health board area director. Ffion Johnstone – said: “We are now encouraging teenagers aged 16-17 across North Wales to come forward for their first dose by booking in advance using our online booking service, or attending one of our walk in sessions, for which appointments are not required.”
“Parental consent to book or receive a first dose jab is not required, but people in this age group may be accompanied by an adult, if they wish to.”
“The JCVI has said that advice on when to offer the second dose will come later.”
“Evidence from COVID-19 outbreaks across North Wales shows that people in this age group are at significantly increased risk of catching and transmitting the virus.”
“We’ve had an incredibly positive uptake of the vaccine among 18-29-year-olds and we are confident that a great majority of 16-17-year-olds will come forward for their jab and play their part in helping us all retain some the freedoms that have been recently restored after COVID-19 restrictions were eased.”
“We urge any 16-17-year-old who isn’t sure if they want to receive the vaccine to book and attend an appointment, or turn up at any of our walk-in clinics, so we can take the time to discuss the benefits of vaccination and any concerns they may have, before they make a decision on whether to go ahead.”
The health board has also said that “in line with advice from the JCVI” it is now sending appointment invitations to children aged 12 to 15 who are at increased risk of becoming seriously unwell with COVID-19.
This includes children with severe neurodisabilities, Down’s syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities.
These children are being contacted directly with an appointment.
They will not be able to book online, or attend walk-in clinics without an appointment.
Children and young people aged 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed adult are also now eligible for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
A parent/guardian can self-identify children aged 12-15 who live with an immunosuppressed adult using a form on the Welsh Government website. Details will be verified and an appointment invitation will be sent in the post.
Young people aged 16-17 living with an immunosuppressed adult can book an appointment directly using our online booking service, or attend one of our walk-in clinics.
They will be eligible for two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, so it is important that they identify themselves in this category with the vaccinator, so they are given an appointment for a second dose.
If a 16-17-year-old wants to attend a session with their parent they can follow the same process as that listed for 12-15 year olds above.
On vaccine supply, the health board has said:
“The current supply of COVID-19 vaccine across Wales is predominantly Pfizer BioNTech (and Moderna, which isn’t currently available in North Wales).”
“From this week onwards, we will use the Pfizer vaccine for all first doses, regardless of age.”
“The small amount of remaining AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in our supply remains highly effective, and there are no safety concerns over its use.”
“Over the next few weeks, we will continue to use it to provide second doses, as it is still recommended that where possible, the second dose should be the same brand as the first.”
“This approach is consistent with the advice given by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.”
“This change has been reflected in our online booking service.”
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com