16 and 17-year-olds across the Black Country and West Birmingham can now book their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Following new guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), teenagers aged 16 and 17 are eligible for a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, provided it has been 12 weeks since their first dose.
Eligible teenagers will be contacted by the NHS via letter or text message when it is their turn to get a second dose. Appointments can be booked online via the National Booking System or by calling 111, with walk-in appointments also available at selected vaccination sites across the area.
Since the initial roll-out of the vaccine to all 16 and 17-year-olds, Walsall College has worked with local vaccination leads to offer all its students the COVID-19 vaccine.
Students from Walsall College have recorded videos of their thoughts on the vaccination, to encourage others their age who have not yet come forward for their first dose to consider getting the jab. Madi Longmore, aged 16, has already had her COVID-19 vaccine. She said:
“I didn’t only have the vaccine to protect myself, but also to protect my entire family, the people I work with and the people I come to college with.”
Stephen Gunther, Director of Public Health at Walsall Council, added: “Just because you're young, you're not invincible. You can get COVID-19 like anyone else.
"It has been so evident in the last few months how much COVID-19 can affect young people. Those aged 0-19 account for the highest number of positive cases, so now is the time to get protected.
“Two doses of the vaccine is now recommended for 16 and 17-year-olds so we really want to see them coming forward and protecting themselves and those around them. If you are eligible for a vaccine, please go and get it – don't wait for the virus to get you first to see how it's going to affect you."
Parental consent is not required to be vaccinated for this age group. People also do not have to be registered with a GP or have an NHS number to be vaccinated, although it will make the process easier so they should bring this information to their vaccination appointment if they can.
For more information and resources on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit blackcountryandwestbirmccg.nhs.uk.