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Covid vaccine in children 12 TIMES higher in some areas - but a 3rd of areas lag behind 10% mark

Just one in 30 young teens have had their first Covid vaccine in parts of the UK that are lagging behind in the roll-out, an analysis revealed today.

NHS figures suggest vaccine uptake among 12-to-15-year-olds is only 15 per cent for the whole of England, despite the age group being eligible to come forward for their first dose nearly a month ago.  

But the picture is very different in Scotland, where the rate stands at around 46.5 per cent, with some areas of the country having already jabbed almost two-thirds of their young teens. 

The figures come off the back of rising concerns about a surge in coronavirus infections among young teens in England, with experts fearing sky-high rates could kickstart a fourth wave. 

Random swabbing data suggests around 8 per cent of secondary school pupils were carrying the virus last week. Separate figures show infection rates in children have reached record highs.

The prevalence of the virus in schoolchildren has prompted Government ministers to put forward plans to create 'walk-in' vaccine clinics for 12-to-15-year-olds in the next few weeks in an effort to speed up the jab rollout. Sources also claim the new clinics are an attempt to keep anti-vaxxers away from the school gates. 

First doses of Covid vaccine started being rolled out to all the UK’s 3.2million 12 to 15-year-olds on September 20. 

But the move was heavily controversial, with concerns over a rare risk of heart inflammation called myocarditis — estimated to strike up to one in 20,000 boys under the age of 16 after their second jab. Girls are at less risk of the complication.

North and south divide. Scotland is roaring ahead with rolling out the first dose of the Covid vaccine to 12-to-15-year-olds compared to England. All 10 of the best performing areas were north of the border with England hosting the bottom 10, the majority of which are in London

The Government has been criticised over the slow rollout of the Covid vaccine to children but the latest figures reveal that the scheme is having mixed success across the country, with Scotland soaring ahead of England

Areas where the most UK teens have been vaccinated 

1. Dumfries and Galloway 62.9 per cent 

2. Perth and Kinross 62.6 per cent

3. Orkney Islands 62.1 per cent

4. Aberdeenshire 61.8 per cent

5. Angus 59.3 per cent

6. Scottish Borders 57.0 per cent

7. Fife 55.4 per cent

8. Falkirk 53.7 per cent

9. Stirling 53.7 per cent

10. East Dunbartonshire 53.4 per cent

While in most cases the condition is mild, scientists do not know the long term implications. 

Earlier this year the Government's vaccine advisors, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised against routinely vaccinating healthy 12 to 15-year-olds because they have just a one in 2million chance of dying from Covid.

The JCVI urged ministers to seek advice from England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and his fellow chief medical officers in the devolved nations about the wider benefits vaccination could provide.

Areas where the fewest UK teens have been vaccinated

Barking and Dagenham 3.5 per cent

Newham 5.2 per cent and Lewisham 5.2 per cent

Tower Hamlets 5.6 per cent

Waltham Forest 5.7 per cent 

Bristol 5.8 per cent

Hackney and City of London 5.9 per cent

Greenwich 6.1 per cent 

Stoke-on-Trent 6.2 per cent 

Newcastle upon Tyne 6.2 per cent

Professor Whitty eventually ruled that youngsters would benefit getting vaccinated against Covid, despite the odds of them becoming critically ill from the virus about two in a million.  

The latest vaccine uptake figures for England and Scotland – the two nations currently publishing daily statistics on take-up – show wide variations across the countries.

More than a third of England's 149 upper tier local authorities (55) have vaccinated fewer than one in 10 young teens.

The three worst areas for England and the UK are in London.

Barking & Dagenham has only jabbed 3.5 per cent of its young teens, followed by the boroughs of Newham and Lewisham (both 5.2 per cent). 

Wokingham in Berkshire was England's best performer, having given 36.2 per cent of its young teens their first Covid jab.

Other 'high' performers for England were Derbyshire, Hertfordshire, and Warrington which all recorded a rate of 29.1 per cent. 

But north of the border Scotland has roared to success compared with its southern neighbour. Half of the nation's 32 local authority areas have now delivered jabs to at least 50 per cent of their young teens. 

Dumfries and Galloway leads the UK, having vaccinated 62.9 per cent of its 12-to-15-year-olds. 

It is followed by Perth & Kinross at 62.6 per cent and the Orkney Islands with 62.1 per cent. 

The lowest uptake was in the Highlands (17 per cent), which is still higher than a third of authorities in England. 

The difference between Scotland and England might be down to more than just demographics with the countries offering young teens their first does of the Covid vaccine in different ways.  

In England, jabs are being carried out in schools by nurses and immunisation teams.

But in Scotland doses can be received by attending drop-in vaccination centres at GP clinics, pharmacies and community centres.

Uptake is also likely to have been affected by the level of infection circulating in the community.

A first dose of vaccine cannot be delivered to someone if they are within four weeks of testing positive for Covid, waiting for the results of a coronavirus test, or self-isolating.

Covid vaccination rates across the UK can be as high as 60 per cent or as low as 4 per cent depending where you live in the country a new analysis has found 

Around one in 10 children in England in school years 7 to 11 were likely to have tested positive for Covid in the week to October 9 – the highest rate for any age group – according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

But while the overall prevalence of Covid in England has risen to around one in 60 people in Scotland the estimate has been falling for several weeks and currently stands at one in 80.

There was spike in cases in children in Scotland in August after they returned to the classroom which eventually subsided, with some arguing that England, where children went back to school later, now experiencing the same.  

Mass Covid testing in schools should stop, senior doctor says 

Mass Covid testing in schools is sparking 'unnecessary chaos' and should be brought to an end, a senior doctor has said.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health's president, Dr Camilla Kingdon, also warned children should not be left to 'carry the burden' of the pandemic.

Schools in England dropped virtually all virus-control measures in July, except twice weekly testing of pupils. Those who get a positive swab must stay home for 10 days.

But amid rising infection rates among youngsters, some schools are quietly reintroducing measures including face masks and telling children to stay home if their sibling has the virus.

It comes as the NHS plans to unveil walk-in vaccine clinics for school children within weeks in an effort to speed up the jabs rollout.

The president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Dr Camilla Kingdon (pictured), said that twice weekly testing in schools should be dropped

Dr Kingdon railed against the return of more rules in the classroom today, telling the Daily Telegraph that the age group is at very low risk from the virus.

She said: 'You are asking completely healthy children to test, with the potential to be excluded (from school), there is just a real concern that we are increasing a level of chaos into the system that is unnecessary.' 

In a letter to parents of an English secondary school last week, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and Health Secretary Sajid Javid asked for parents’ 'support' to 'come forward' for the jab to ensure face-to-face lessons can continue.

'This is one of the best things young people can do to protect themselves and those around them,'  the letter said.

'Vaccines are our best defence against Covid. They help protect young people, and benefit those around them. Vaccination makes people less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on.'

Separate, weekly, figures published by Public Health Wales show that as of October 10, Neath Port Talbot was the only local authority in Wales where fewer than 10 per cent of 12 to 15-year-olds had received one dose of vaccine (7.4 per cent).

All Welsh other local authorities were above 10 per cent, ranging from Gwynedd 10.2 per cent to Merthyr Tydfil 48.5 per cent.

The overall take-up for Wales as of October 10 was 21.8 per cent.

Northern Ireland has yet to begin publishing vaccination figures for 12 to 15-year-olds.

On Saturday the Mail on Sunday revealed that Ministers are planning to create walk-in vaccine clinics for schoolchildren in an effort to speed up the jabs rollout.

In addition to speeding up the vaccine effort, the move is also said to be an attempt to keep anti-vaxxers away from the school gates. 

Last night, there were fresh calls to speed up the vaccination of teenagers after an analysis of official figures by found almost half of new Covid cases in England are now in the under-20s.

When schools went back early last month, 33 per cent of new cases were in that age group.

But by the second week of this month, the proportion had grown to 46 per cent. Teenagers now make up the lion's share of infections in the under-20s.

There are also concerns about the level of testing in schools in England with one senior doctor saying the policy is sparking 'unnecessary chaos' and should be brought to an end.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health's president, Dr Camilla Kingdon, also warned children should not be left to 'carry the burden' of the pandemic.

Schools in England dropped virtually all virus-control measures in July, except twice weekly testing of pupils. Those who get a positive swab must stay home for 10 days.

But amid rising infection rates among youngsters, some schools are quietly reintroducing measures including face masks and telling children to stay home if their sibling has the virus.

Dr Kingdon railed against the return of more rules in the classroom today, telling the Daily Telegraph that the age group is at very low risk from the virus.

She said: 'You are asking completely healthy children to test, with the potential to be excluded (from school), there is just a real concern that we are increasing a level of chaos into the system that is unnecessary.'