The government's announcement that 16- and 17-year-olds will be offered the coronavirus vaccine within weeks is a "welcome step", the Association of Colleges has said.
AoC chief executive David Hughes said vaccines were "a sure way to help reduce transmission and subsequently lessen the likelihood of severe disruption to students’ learning when the new academic year begins".
He added the scientific advice to government was that this is the right thing to do for 16- and 17-year-olds, for their parents/carers, for college staff and the communities they live within.
Covid unemployment: Government tight-lipped on Kickstart 2022 extension
Easing restrictions: What it will mean for colleges
"As part of a wider strategy that colleges already have in place, including testing and all of the measures on campuses, this expansion of the vaccine rollout will be a key part of learning to live with this virus and keep disruption in education to a minimum.”
Earlier today, health secretary Sajid Javid said he had asked the NHS to prepare to deliver vaccinations to 16- and 17-year-olds “as soon as possible”.
When asked when the first 16- or 17-year-olds would be able to get their vaccines, he added: “It will be this month and so the way we’re going to roll this out, I think as people will expect, is working through the clinicians, working through GPs, through the primary care networks.
“Also, we will use hospital hubs, we will use hubs like this in Bournemouth today that I have visited, that I was very impressed by, and also we’ll be working through the already existing schools vaccination programme, which I think will help to bolster this.”