Health

HALF of all 16 and 17 year olds in England have already had their Covid vaccine

Half of all 16 and 17-year-olds have already got their Covid vaccine, NHS England revealed today.

Latest figures showed 620,000 teenagers in the age group are registered as having received one dose.

It comes less than a month after the JCVI — which is advising Britain’s roll out — recommended they were inoculated.

Officials said appetite for jabs among young people had been ‘strong’ since the drive began at the start of August.

Separate data from Public Health England (PHE) showed vaccines have already prevented 140,000 hospitalisations across the country.

The agency’s weekly report highlights just how well vaccines are already working at preventing serious disease and death, amid mounting calls for a booster programme to be launched.

Experts are warning England faces a third wave of infections as schools return this week and next. No10’s top scientists are still deliberating on whether to roll out jabs to 12 to 15-year-olds. 

This graph shows the number of first doses dished out by age group. The NHS does not split age groups into individual units. It shows more than 620,000 have already been inoculated among under-18s

The above graph from the PHE report shows vaccine uptake by age group as a percentage of that age group. It reveals an uptick among under-18s

The above graph from the PHE report shows vaccine uptake by age group as a percentage of that age group. It reveals an uptick among under-18s

Covid vaccines have prevented 143,600 hospital admissions, PHE says

More than 140,000 hospital admissions in England are estimated to have been prevented by the vaccine rollout.

The latest estimate of 143,600 is a sharp rise on the previous one of more than 82,100.

The new figures, from Public Health England (PHE), have been hailed as showing the ‘vital role’ vaccines play in preventing severe disease.

The organisation said approximately 36,100 admissions were estimated to have been prevented in those aged 65 to 74, while for 75 to 84-year-olds the figure was 58,800, and it was 48,700 in those aged 85 and over.

Estimates for the number of deaths in England directly averted by the vaccine rollout are unchanged at between 102,500 and 109,500.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, consultant epidemiologist at PHE, said: ‘These figures show the vital role that vaccines play in preventing hospitalisations and, in turn, reducing the pressure on the NHS.

‘The vaccine helps protect you and those around you. To gain maximum protection, it is important that you get 2 doses of the vaccine.’

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said a ‘wall of defence’ is being built with every dose given.

He said: ‘Jab by jab we are building a wall of defence that has already saved more than 105,000 lives and prevented 143,000 hospitalisations in England alone.

‘Do not delay – please come forward and get both of your vaccines as soon as you can.’

NHS England figures also revealed almost two-thirds of this age group have already been inoculated in Wales.

In Scotland half have got their first doses, while in Northern Ireland 40 per cent have come forward for their jab. 

The 1.2million teenagers in the age group in England are being offered first doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna Covid vaccines.

The JCVI is yet to rule on whether 16 and 17-year-olds should also be given second doses. 

Britain’s medical regulator — the MHRA — has said both jabs are safe for the age group and effective against infection, hospitalisation and death.

But it is recommended that under-40s get an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine because of concerns over very rare blood clots.

NHS England figures showed 640,000 doses have been dished out to under-18s to date. The number is higher because jabs are also available to over-12s who live with a vulnerable adult or have a condition that puts them at risk from the virus. 

More than 48.1million people in Britain have got their first dose — or 88.6 per cent ofunder-16s — and 43million — or 79.2 per cent — have got their second. 

Dr Kanani said: ‘Uptake among young people continues to be strong and thanks to the non-stop efforts of NHS staff and volunteers half of all 16 and 17-year-olds have had their vaccine since becoming eligible last month.

‘(This) gives them the best possible protection against coronavirus.’

She added: ‘As school and college terms are due to start back shortly, it is really important that young people continue to come forward for their life-saving vaccine and visit the NHS grab-a-jab finder to find a convenient site, with walk-in vaccinations taking place at nightclubs, university campuses and places of worship this weekend.

‘It has never been easier to drop in and get your vaccine: it is safe, effective and will provide vital protection for you and your family and friends.’

Local NHS teams and volunteers will be administering jabs at sites including the G-A-Y nightclub in London, the Hindu Temple in Crawley and the University of Kent’s Canterbury Campus this weekend.

When the JCVI announced its recommendation to extend the vaccine rollout to 16 and 17-year-olds, it said it would make further recommendations at a later stage on when youngsters should get their second dose.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said today: ‘It is fantastic to see the enthusiasm of young people to get the jab and great news that more than half of 16 to 17s in England are now vaccinated with a first dose as they return to colleges and sixth-forms.

‘Thank-you for playing your part in helping us live safely with this virus so we can continue to enjoy the freedoms we missed like seeing friends and family.’ 

It came as a separate report from PHE said more than 140,000 hospitalisations had been prevented by vaccines.

The organisation said approximately 36,100 admissions were estimated to have been prevented in those aged 65 to 74, while for 75 to 84-year-olds the figure was 58,800, and it was 48,700 in those aged 85 and over.

Estimates for the number of deaths in England directly averted by the vaccine rollout are unchanged at between 102,500 and 109,500.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, consultant epidemiologist at PHE, said: ‘These figures show the vital role that vaccines play in preventing hospitalisations and, in turn, reducing the pressure on the NHS.

‘The vaccine helps protect you and those around you. To gain maximum protection, it is important that you get 2 doses of the vaccine.’

Mr Javid said a ‘wall of defence’ is being built with every dose given.

He said: ‘Jab by jab we are building a wall of defence that has already saved more than 105,000 lives and prevented 143,000 hospitalisations in England alone.

‘Do not delay – please come forward and get both of your vaccines as soon as you can.’


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