Schools hit with legal threats over on-site Covid jabs

Heads urge campaigners to stop pressurising schools not to get involved in Covid vaccinations for pupils

John Roberts

Vaccination threat: How should schools cope with anti-Covid vaccine protests?

Schools have been receiving letters threatening legal action from pressure groups attempting to stop them being involved in the Covid vaccination programme, headteachers have revealed.

The Association of School and College Leaders’ general secretary Geoff Barton urged people to stop attempting to pressure schools on this issue, as it was announced that 12- to 15-year-olds will be offered a Covid vaccine.

The vaccine is expected to be delivered in schools after being recommended for pupils by the country's four chief medical officers.

Decision: Covid vaccine to be offered to 12- to 15-year-olds

DfE: Plan is for Covid vaccine to be given in schools

Background: 'Heads must not be made to police student jabs'

Mr Barton said: “Many of our members have been receiving letters from various pressure groups threatening schools and colleges with legal action if they take part in any Covid vaccination programme.

“This is extremely unhelpful and we would ask those involved in this correspondence to stop attempting to exert pressure on schools and colleges.

“The question of whether or not to offer vaccinations to this age group has clearly been thoroughly considered and the decision on whether or not to accept this offer is a matter for families. 

“Data from the Office for National Statistics indicates that most parents would be likely to accept a Covid-19 vaccine for their child, with around 86 per cent reporting they would definitely or probably say yes to them having a vaccine. In comparison, 6 per cent of secondary school parents said they would definitely not want their child to have a vaccine.”

It was announced today that children aged 12-15 should be offered a first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, according to the UK’s four chief medical officers (CMOs).

The decision takes into account the impact of the pandemic on children’s education as well as the risks to their mental health from missing school.

The move means that around 3 million students could be eligible for the jab and comes despite the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) deciding not to recommend mass vaccination of 12- to 15-year-olds.

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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