Second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be offered to thousands of secondary school pupils in Wolverhampton from next week.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recently gave the go ahead for children aged 12 to 15 to be offered a second Pfizer jab.

Local NHS immunisation teams are working closely with secondary and special schools in Wolverhampton to identify all pupils who are eligible for their second jab, with parents and carers asked to complete and return consent forms as soon as possible.

In addition to second doses, vaccinations will be offered in school to students who are eligible for, but have not yet had, their first dose, while staff can get a first or second jab, or their booster. Alternative arrangements are being made for children who are home schooled.

Please note, there must be a 12 week gap between first and second doses for 12 to 15 year olds, or 8 weeks if the child is more vulnerable to Covid-19. In addition, pupils who have contracted Covid-19 since having their first dose must wait 12 weeks from the date of their positive test before having their second jab.

Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Getting a second dose of the vaccine will help to give children and young people added protection against Covid-19, especially at a time of uncertainty with the new Omicron variant.

“The vaccine is safe and effective, and is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones so I would urge all young people to take up the offer as soon as they can."

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "We are working closely with schools and health partners to co-ordinate the vaccine programme in secondary schools, with the aim of offering a second dose to all eligible children in the coming weeks, and first doses to any children who haven’t had theirs. Teachers and support staff will be also be able to get a jab in school, if they are due one.

"We are keen to encourage as many people to take the vaccine as possible and to ensure that pupils and parents are given clear and trusted advice and information on the vaccine.

“It’s important for children to have both doses because, while they will get good protection from their first dose, having a second dose should give them longer lasting protection.”

He added: “We know that the vaccine offers a high level of protection against Covid-19 and, for those who don’t believe in the importance of vaccinations, I would simply point out that, if it wasn't for vaccines, the world would still be suffering the horrors of diseases like smallpox and polio.”

Parents or carers who would prefer their child to receive their vaccine outside of school can attend one of a number of local vaccination clinics, including in the Mander Centre and at Aldersley Leisure Village. All clinics offer first and second doses and, for people aged 16 and over, booster jabs too. Please visit  Find a walk-in coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination site to find your nearest site. No appointment is necessary, but children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

For more information about the vaccination for 12 to 15 year olds, please visit COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for eligible children and young people aged 12 to 17