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Most of Suffolk's 16-18 year olds have had a Covid-19 vaccine, with thousands more teenagers to be jabbed by October half term




More than 70 per cent of Suffolk's 16-18 year olds have had a Covid-19 vaccination, according to latest data – and thousands of younger teenagers will be jabbed by the October half term.

Suffolk’s Local Outbreak Engagement Board meeting of council, police and health leaders heard that nearly three quarters of 16, 17 and 18 year olds had received a single dose of the Pfizer jab, while the programme of 12-15 year olds has now started.

Around seven per cent of that age category has already been jabbed in just the first week of vaccines being offered, and will continue to the October half term.

More than 70 per cent of Suffolk's 16-18 year olds have had a Covid-19 vaccination, according to latest data – and thousands of younger teenagers will be jabbed by the October half term.
More than 70 per cent of Suffolk's 16-18 year olds have had a Covid-19 vaccination, according to latest data – and thousands of younger teenagers will be jabbed by the October half term.

Melanie Craig, chief officer with Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “We are really pleased with how this next stage of the programme is going.

“I want to call out both Suffolk and North East Essex and Norfolk and Waveney systems which are the top two systems in the East of England by a considerable stretch, so we are really pleased.

“We are really pleased with the uptake of the 16-17 year olds with over 70 per cent, and as it is one dose that is really strong progress.

“For the 12-15s, we have only been vaccinating for a week but we have already managed to get to just over seven per cent of 12-15 year olds, and that is just one dose of Pfizer.”

The take-up in the younger adult groups has also proved good news.

“The uptake of those groups is really impressive as well – well over 80 per cent between 18 and 35,” she continued.

“I know at the beginning as we progressed through the programme people were curious about whether the younger cohorts would indeed come forward, but in our areas of the country we are seeing really strong uptake.”

Health chiefs said that the schools immunisation service, commissioned through NHS England, were working with schools on the 12-15 programme.

Dr Ed Garratt, chief executive of Suffolk’s CCGs highlighted ongoing work with schools, colleges and the University of Suffolk, which aimed to “keep that number rising”.

Healthwatch Suffolk and the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality have also been involved in supporting those in BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities.

Public Health Suffolk director Stuart Keeble said the vaccine programme in those age groups will help schools operate as normally as possible, as more than half of all new Covid cases circulated among those aged 19 and under.

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