Covid-19: How many children in Wakefield between 5 and 11 have been jabbed so far?

Parents up and down the UK are getting invited to have their primary-age children vaccinated against coronavirus - but how many in Wakefield have been jabbed so far?

By Leanne Clarke
Friday, 6th May 2022, 9:04 am

Scotland has so far vaccinated seven times more primary-age children against Covid-19 than Northern Ireland, despite having started its programme later, the Express can reveal.

It is just one example of how parents across the UK seem to be showing hugely varying attitudes towards immunising their children against coronavirus.

The vaccination programme for children aged five to 11 began earlier this spring in all four nations.

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The vaccination programme for children aged five to 11 began earlier this spring in all four nations.

But the number of children to have received one dose currently stands at just over 2% in Northern Ireland, compared with 5% in England, 9% in Wales and 16% in Scotland.

Public health messaging has been far more muted than with the adult vaccination programme. The virus usually has a mild effect in children and NHS England said vaccination is a “personal choice” for families to make.

Low take-up rates may be linked to vaccine hesitancy. Earlier this year the Office for National Statistics found that parents living with children under five were more likely to be vaccine hesitant than non-parents or parents not living with a dependent child.

Vaccine hesitancy was also found to be more common in more deprived areas and among people with a Black or minority ethnic background.

Many children have also already had Covid-19 - around 85% were thought to have had the virus by the end of January, according to estimates by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

In Wakefield, data shows there are 30,347 children aged five to 11 in the district.

A total of 1,179 children under 12 have had their first dose - 3.9% of those are aged five to 11 years old.

What is being done to encourage uptake?

Rachel Spiers, Immunisation and Vaccination Programme Manager at the Public Health Agency, said there are several possible reasons for the lower vaccination rate in children.

Ms Spiers said: “For example, parents of children who have already had Covid-19 may feel that their children don’t need the vaccine. However, vaccination is one of the most important things we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill-health.

“Even if your child has already had Covid-19, it is still important to get them vaccinated, as being fully-vaccinated can offer them the best protection from the virus and severe disease, as we have seen that it can be possible to develop Covid-19 more than once.”

A NHS England spokesperson said: “The fastest and largest vaccine drive in NHS history has vaccinated more than 260,000 5- to 11-year-olds whose parents have decided to take up this offer, since it went live less than four weeks ago, following the JCVI’s recommendation of a non-urgent offer.

“Getting vaccinated is a personal choice between families and their children, and we have now sent invites to everyone eligible, including to the parents of one million children aged 5 and 6 last week – with people able to book an appointment via the National Booking System.”

Background:

The latest phase of the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination programme started on April 4 after updated guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended that children would benefit from a non-urgent offer of Covid-19 vaccine.

All eligible children have been invited forward for their first dose, with parents being given information to allow them to make an informed decision.

For further information for parents on the COVID-19 vaccine for five to 11 year olds visit the Public Health Agency website here.

To find out where your nearest COVID-19 vaccine clinic is, visit vaccinations.covid-19.hscni.net/location-search