Hundreds of Sunderland children given covid vaccine as jab efforts continue

Health chiefs in Sunderland have repeated calls for city residents to take up the offer of the Covid-19 jab as the vaccination programme continues at pace.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 3:58 pm
A Covid vaccine being prepared.

Members of NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) got an update on the vaccination programme across the city.

The drive has now entered ‘phase three’ with school nurses looking at those aged 12-15 and vaccination hubs opening to at-risk children in this age group.

Last weekend, booster jabs for both Covid-19 and flu also started at care homes on Wearside.

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Dr Fadi Khalil, Clinical Vice-Chair of Sunderland CCG, said it was “early days” and that phase three had only been running for a week-and-a-half.

But he stressed that there was “plenty of supply” of vaccines as services move into the winter period, with work ongoing to increase uptake in younger age groups.

The comments came during a meeting of the CCG’s Governing Body on Tuesday, September 28, which was held via videolink and broadcast on Facebook.

Figures revealed at the meeting confirmed 285 vaccines had been administered to those aged 12-15 out of a population of around 12,000.

Out of the 667 at-risk young people in this age group in Sunderland, around 107 or 16% had been vaccinated with a first dose.

However CCG leaders were confident numbers would increase as the school vaccination programme continues to roll out.

Dr Ian Pattison, local GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Sunderland CCG, added: “As the school programme for those young adults and children gets in, we should see those figures start to climb and we will get a further update.

“It’s just to encourage people even if they are young to get the vaccine […] that’s the message from here that we encourage everybody who is eligible for a vaccine to get a vaccine, particularly for those most at risk.

“Clearly the vaccine is considered to be the main way we’re protecting ourselves from Covid going forward.

“It’s not the only way but it’s becoming increasingly the main way and therefore it’s absolutely essential that as many of the population who are eligible do get vaccinated – that’s the key message.

“I’m hearing in Sunderland that getting vaccinated should be a fairly straightforward process at this point and we will keep it under review if there’s any problems.”

Information about the vaccine programme and walk-in and pop-up clinics are available on Sunderland City Council’s website.

In addition an “evergreen offer” is available for anyone who hasn’t received the vaccine so far – with people urged to ring their GP practice to get booked in.

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