Commenting on the government’s announcement
that children aged 12 to 15 will be invited for a second Covid vaccine dose as part of the response to the new Omicron variant, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“We welcome plans to step up the vaccination programme for 12 to 15-year-olds to provide protection to this age group and reduce the potential for further educational disruption as a result of the continuing Covid crisis and the emergence of the new Omicron variant.
“We strongly urge the government to ensure that the health service has in place the capacity to deliver this commitment. The programme to provide a first dose of the vaccine to 12 to 15-year-olds has been beset with delays because the health teams responsible for going into schools and delivering the vaccines clearly have not had sufficient resources to be able to do this at the scale and speed required.
“The government must also commit to providing all schools and colleges with government-funded air cleaning units and it must promote to the public the importance of eligible pupils carrying out twice-weekly lateral flow tests at home. Alongside vaccinations, these are also essential mitigations