Students miss Covid jab at school due to 'nurse shortages'

Farlingaye High School said not all eligible and consenting children were able to have their Covid vaccine

Farlingaye High School wrote to parents to let them know not all eligible and consenting children were able to have their Covid vaccine - Credit: Archant

Whole year groups of children were unable to get their Covid vaccine at school due to issues with staffing and time, a letter to parents said.

Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge wrote to parents to inform them that coronavirus vaccinations were only completed for consenting year 10 and year 11 students.

Covid vaccines were only completed for consenting year 10 and year 11 students on October 21

Covid vaccines were only completed for consenting year 10 and year 11 students at Farlingaye High School on October 21 - Credit: Archant

The letter said "due to staffing levels within the nurse practitioners team and the time taken to vaccinate each child, consenting years 8 and 9s plus 12-year-old year 7s were not vaccinated".

The school had been hosting the NHS immunisation team on Thursday, October 21, the letter said.

Headteacher Dr Andy Sievewright said in a comment for this article: “Unfortunately, due to staff shortages on the part of the immunisation service, they were only able to vaccinate a proportion of our willing students.

"We asked them to prioritise year 11 and 10 so that these students can miss as little school as possible in the run up to their GCSE exams.”

We reported last month how many students in Suffolk were having to wait weeks for the jab, following the start of the roll-out to 12-15 year olds on September 20 - and it is unclear whether those students from Farlingaye High who missed out will get another chance to have the vaccine in school. 

Farlingaye High has said it had not been advised of a second date for Covid vaccines at the school.

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From Monday, October 25, a series of walk-in Covid vaccination clinics for young people aged 12 to 15 will begin operating at locations across Suffolk and north east Essex.

They can turn up to receive their vaccine with no appointment needed.

There is a walk-in clinic at Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich on October 26 and 27. For more information on dates and times see here. 

Locally, the NHS has launched a campaign on TikTok to coincide with the start of walk-in Covid vaccine clinics for those aged 12 to 15.

Family doctor Dr Ashley Moore and pharmacist Natasha Jones, who both work locally and are experienced vaccinators, have each choreographed and performed their own videos to encourage people to ignore the "many dubious sources" of Covid information.

Instead, if people have any questions or concerns, they can speak to an NHS health professional, visit the Suffolk and north east Essex Covid vaccine service website or call the local helpline on 0344 257 396.

Simon Morgan, associate director of communications for the Suffolk and north east Essex clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), said: “There is much misinformation on social media which is deterring people from getting jabbed to best protect their health.

“We’ve launched our campaign on TikTok to coincide with next week’s half-term walk-in clinics for young people.

“We want them to know how important the vaccination is for protecting their own health and the health of their family and friends.”

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust - which we have been told are best placed to handle our enquiry about Covid vaccines at Farlingaye High School - have been approached for comment.

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