As 12 to 15-year-olds across Wales start to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations, the Health Minister today confirmed they will all be offered a vaccine by the end of October half-term.
All 12 to 15-year-olds will be invited by letter to have the vaccine and the majority being administered at mass vaccination centres. In some areas, vaccination will be carried out at schools.
Some of the most vulnerable 12 to 15-year-olds in Wales have already started receiving the vaccine and all health boards will have started rolling out the programme in their areas this week.
Health Minister Eluned Morgan said:
Vaccines remain our strongest defence from the virus, helping prevent harm and stopping the spread of COVID-19. Some studies have shown show one in seven children who have been infected with the virus are thought to have also developed long-COVID.
We have provided resources and information to help this age group make an informed choice about vaccination. I encourage parents, guardians, children and young people to discuss the vaccination together.
Dr Gill Richardson, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Vaccines, added:
We have seen the benefits that come from having as many people as possible vaccinated.
After careful consideration of the evidence, the four UK chief medical officers recommended the vaccination of healthy 12 to 15-year-olds after consultation with experts, such as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
They concluded that the health benefits, combined with the additional benefits of reducing educational disruption and effects on mental health meant that vaccination should be offered.
Children and their families will be receiving links to information with their invitation letters so they can make an informed decision about whether or not to have the vaccine.