Secondary school vaccinations in Kent to be offered at community clinics this summer to address backlog
Parents are being encouraged to take up invitations to bring their teenagers for vaccinations over the summer holidays.
Secondary school children across Kent and Medway in Years 8, 9 and 10 will be able to get immunisations they may have missed when schools closed because of lockdown at community venues during the school holidays.
When the coronavirus outbreak closed schools back in March it also meant many community clinics were cancelled and eligible students who would have received routine immunisations during term time were not able to receive their vaccinations.
Protection against HPV, tetanus, diptheria, polio and meningococal groups A, C W and Y would have been amongst those offered to teenagers and their families in the relevant school years.
But the immunisation programme has now restarted in the county with catch-up clinics booked to run throughout August.
Parents with children who missed a vaccination because of the backlog will be invited to come along to a nearby community venue by their School Immunisation Service where nurses will administer the relevant injections.
All clinics, say health chiefs, will run in-line with infection prevention measures and social distancing measures will be in place. In some areas, providers may also look at a drive through service, say organisers, to further protect patients and staff from any risk of coronavirus.
Dr Chris Tibbs, medical director for commissioning at NHS England and NHS Improvement, South East said it's important families come if they're called.
He explained: “We’re calling on parents to make sure their child comes along to their vaccination appointment this summer.
“The infections we’re talking about here can cause very serious illnesses in children, so we’re very pleased to be able to offer immunisations again.
“I’d urge all parents and young people who get an invitation to take up the offer. It’s quick and easy and will give lasting protection.”
The plans in place will use the summer break to catch up on any missed vaccinations from the 2019/2020 school year. Any outstanding backlog after the holiday will then be addressed during the 2020/21 school year once students, it is expected, will return to regular school.
Parents of teenagers are not the only ones being encouraged to attend immunisation appointments, with families of babies and toddlers also being urged not to miss routine appointments because of coronavirus. Read more about that here.