Push to get more schoolchildren vaccinated in Manchester as schools return

The city council says there has also been a bit of a drop-off in people attending walk-in clinics for boosters in recent days.

Manchester’s health bosses have said there has been a slight downturn in people coming forward to get a Covid-19 booster in recent days, as they called for more eligible school children to come forward for jabs as the new term begins.

Walk-in clinics and other centres were extremely busy before Christmas but local authority leaders say footfall has tailed off somewhat for boosters in the new year.

David Regan, Manchester’s director of Public Health, said: “Before Christmas it was incredibly reassuring to see the scale of the booster drive.

“We saw people in their tens of thousands coming out to get protected in light of the Omicron variant and that will certainly have made a positive impact over Christmas and New Year.

David Regan, director of public health Credit: MCC

“We’ve seen a downturn in the number of people getting their booster in the past few days but we know this will be due to high level of take up, but also because of how many people who caught Covid before Christmas and are still in the mandatory waiting period before getting their booster.

“The next few weeks will be very important for us as we work to restart the momentum seen in in December which is why I’d call for anyone not yet boosted to take advantage of the hundreds of appointments available and make sure their lives aren’t disrupted by Covid in the New Year.”

What about schoolchildren then?

Children aged 12-15 are eligible to be vaccinated but they can’t just drop in without making a booking in advance, and there needs to be a 12-week gap between doses.

Dr Manisha Kumar, medical director of Manchester Health and Care Commissioning, said: “As well as ensuring that adults are protected against Covid it’s equally as important that we work to have the new school year as disruption free as possible.

“I’m a parent and I know the difficulties that younger people have faced since the start of the pandemic which is why we’re doing all we can to reduce absences and keep our children in school.

“The National Booking System is a quick and easy way to arrange an appointment for your child and I hope that as many parents take up this option so that their child has the best protection for the year ahead.”

You can book an appointment via the NHS website here or phone 119.