Parents of children aged 12 to 15 are being encouraged to book their children in for COVID-19 vaccinations at centres across Kent this weekend.
NHS vaccination teams are calling this Saturday and Sunday ‘Children’s Day’, when they will provide extra capacity for anyone aged 12 to 15 who is due a first or second jab to get their vaccine in a friendly and supportive environment. Any child who had their first vaccine during October half term is now due their second.
Cathie Burton, Head of the School-age Immunisation Service at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “We offer the COVID-19 vaccine in schools but understandably some parents would prefer to accompany their child, especially younger ones or children who might have anxiety or concerns about getting the jab. Our children’s vaccination pods are staffed by people who are fully trained and experienced in giving vaccinations to children of all ages; so we’d encourage anyone who might not want their child vaccinated at school to book in with us via the national booking service, or just walk in to one of our vaccination centres.
“It’s also worth reminding parents and teenagers they can just come along and talk to us if they want to, we’re here to help answer any questions that they might have before getting a vaccination and if they still need time to think about it they can go away and have a think about it. There’s no pressure, we’re here to help.”
Anna Hinde from Sittingbourne took her 12-year-old son Henry for his jab at the Pentagon Centre in December.
She said: “The last time Henry received a jab was as a baby, so we decided as a family to decline the in-school option and instead book his vaccine at the Pentagon Centre so I could take him and help him with any concerns. I’m really pleased we did.
“Henry was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I’ve had all my jabs so I know how quick and easy it is. Everyone was friendly and we were seen by a fantastic immunisation nurse who put Henry at ease.”
Henry said: “I didn’t even know I’d had the injection. It was very quick and felt like a small scratch, it was nothing to be worried about.”
The vaccination centres will see anyone who is due a first, second or booster jab, of any age. People can book in via the national booking system or call 119 to make an appointment. Walk-ins are also encouraged.
- Pentagon Centre in Chatham is open from 8.30am until 6pm on Saturday, 15 January and Sunday, 16 January.
- Camden Centre in Tunbridge Wells is open from 8.30am until 6pm on Saturday, 15 January.
- Sea Cadets centre in Canterbury is open from 8.30am until 6pm on Saturday, 15 January.
There are also options for 12 to 15-year-olds to get their jab at venues in Swanley, Ashford, Thanet, Dover (Whitfield), Tonbridge and West Malling this weekend. Details can be found on the national booking system at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccination, or call 119 to make an appointment.