The City of Wolverhampton Council's Director of Public Health John Denley has written to parents and guardians of children who are being offered the Covid-19 vaccine in local schools.

Following the recommendation of the UK's 4 Chief Medical Officers, all children aged 12 to 15 will be offered one dose of the vaccine. The vaccination programme is currently underway within secondary and special schools in Wolverhampton.

Latest figures show that Covid-19 infection rates among secondary age children in Wolverhampton are over 3 times higher than in the general population.

In the letter, distributed through schools where vaccinations are due to take place after half term, Mr Denley writes: "The vaccine is quick, safe, and effective in helping to reduce the need for time off school, disrupting learning, and reduces the risk of spreading Covid-19 across school settings.

"We understand that this may be an anxious time for you when considering if your child or children should have the vaccine and that you may have some questions. 

"The Covid-19 vaccination programme is voluntary, although we do encourage as many young people to take the vaccine as soon as possible."

All children require permission from a parent or a guardian before they are able to be vaccinated. Consent can be given via Vaccination UK. Parents or guardians with questions about the vaccination can visit GOV.UK for further information. 

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The Government has made it clear that, while children and young people are not at as much risk from Covid-19 as adults, offering them the vaccine should help reduce transmission within school and keep more children in the classroom. 

“It will also help to protect friends, family and members of the wider community who may be more vulnerable to Covid-19.

“We are working closely with schools and health partners to co-ordinate the vaccine programme for secondary school pupils, with the aim of offering the vaccine to all eligible children in the coming weeks. 

"We are keen to encourage as many young people to take the vaccine as possible and to ensure that students and parents are given clear and trusted advice and information on the vaccine and how they can give consent for their child to get their jab."