A senior doctor has encouraged parents to book Covid-19 vaccinations for their children during the half-term holiday.
Parents in England are now able to book Covid vaccinations online for children aged between 12 and 15.
Just over 2.5 million letters will arrive with parents and guardians from Monday inviting them to book a jab online through the National Booking Service.
There are almost 100 sites offering jabs to this age group with hundreds more expected to join them in the coming weeks.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the NHS vaccine programme, said she would urge families to “book in to give children and their loved ones crucial protection ahead of winter”.
The NHS said parents and guardians are asked to attend vaccination sites with their children if they want them to be vaccinated outside school hours and consent will be sought on the day.
Dr Kanani said: “Millions of parents will be receiving letters from tomorrow inviting their children to get a Covid vaccine through the National Booking Service – this provides an additional way for 12 to 15-year-olds to get their vaccine following the rollout in schools that has seen more than a half million vaccinated already.
“With October half-term upon us, it’s a convenient time for parents to book to get their children vaccinated and protected.
“If parents have already received their vaccine or been invited through their school then they do not need to do anything.
“The decision to get vaccinated has always been a private choice between a child and their parent or guardian – my 13-year-old son received his vaccine at school on the same day I had my booster dose in a local pharmacy.
“I would urge families to look at the information together and then book in to give children and their loved ones crucial protection ahead of winter.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We are making it easier for parents and guardians to book Covid-19 vaccine appointments for their 12 to 15-year-old children ahead of half-term.
“This will give them much more flexibility in getting the jab when it is convenient for them as well as further supporting the vaccine rollout to build our wall of defence.
“Vaccines are safe, will protect children from Covid-19 and prevent further disruption to education.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub