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Public Health Officials urge parents to consent to children aged 12-15 having the COVID jab


08 October 2021

Rapid covid test

Public Health Officials are urging parents to consent to children aged 12-15 having the COVID jab in a bid to keep them well and help reduce disruption to their education this winter.

Volumes of the virus remain concerningly high across Northamptonshire with a further 4,418 coronavirus cases reported in the week up to 03 October. Rates per 100,000 population are significantly higher than the national average and the rates in Kettering are currently ranked as the highest in England.

This week’s report shows that of the ten-year age bands, the younger adults’ group, 10 to 19-year olds have the most cases, closely followed by 40 to 49-year olds. Weekly seven-day average cases have increased since mid-September in both pupils and staff members with increases being recorded mostly among pupils.

In a bid to prevent further spread, parents of young people in education are being urged to give their official consent to the vaccination of youngsters of secondary school age group between 12 and 15 years old.

A reminder is also being issued to keep children off school if they suspect they have the virus until they have had a PCR test and received a negative result to show they are clear of infection. Primary school children are not required to be regularly asymptomatically tested but need to come forward for a PCR test if they have symptoms.

Officials are also urging secondary school children to wear masks in the classroom and to wear additional layers of clothing if needed so classrooms can remain well-ventilated.

This week’s surveillance report, an analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 20 September – 03 October 2021, shows a slight decrease of 2% in the number of COVID-19 cases since last week’s figures were published.

Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population for the most recent week is 588.0, which is significantly higher than the national average (339.2). The area with the highest case rate in the county and amongst the highest in England is Kettering (912.8). The area with the second highest rate in the county is Daventry (669.0). All local area infection rates are significantly higher than national averages except for South Northamptonshire, which is similar.

Over the last 4-week period the number of cases amongst people aged 60+ has increased slightly and numbers remain high. Overall, more women than men tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 28 days.

The latest data shows a concerning increase in the hospitalisation of cases, with a total of 92 COVID-19 patients occupied hospital beds in Northamptonshire on 5 October 2021. This represents a 23% increase when compared to the previous week (28 September 2021).

In the most recent week, Northamptonshire saw an overall decrease in the number of deaths when compared to the previous week.

We are continuing to see an increase in cases of COVID-19 among our young people and, along with continued adherence to the public health advice, the vaccination remains the best protection we can offer them.

I’m a parent myself and I encourage all parents and guardians of those aged 12-15 years of age to register them for a vaccination as soon as the opportunity arises. COVID-19 is a very infectious respiratory disease and can be easily transmitted to older, more vulnerable people.

The COVID-19 vaccination programme in secondary schools will provide the best protection you can to your children and help to reduce disruption to face-to-face education this winter.
Lucy Wightman, Joint Director of Public Health, North and West Northamptonshire Councils