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Blackburn with Darwen health boss calls for teen Covid jabs

Blackburn with Darwen’s Professor Dominic Harrison made the appeal after Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said on Tuesday he expected that all those over the age of 18 would be able to book jabs by the end of this week.

He said: “Canada, the USA, Germany and a number of other countries have already passed Pfizer vaccinations as safe and effective for children over 12 and have already started their vaccination programmes in this group.

“I would urge the UK government to get on with doing this in the UK as soon as possible.

“For much of Lancashire, the rates of infection with the current Delta wave of Covid-19 are highest amongst 12 to 25 year olds. Until we can vaccinate those over 12 years, Pennine Lancashire can not achieve 90 per cent herd immunity. Non-vaccination of 12 to 18-year-olds also generates a very specific risk for South Asian communities. Pennine Lancashire has a much younger population than the national average especially in BAME communities. The sooner we get vaccinating those over 12 the better for us all.”

Blackburn MP Kate Hollern said: “ I know that most of the coronavirus outbreaks are in schools. The idea that we have this constant situation of school bubbles closing every time there is a case – disrupting children’s education and social development and disrupting parents’ employment – is just not sustainable so the answer has got to be rolling out the vaccine to the younger age group. In areas with higher infection rates it is a no brainer.”