A father of 12-year-old twins has spoken out about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccination for 12-15 year olds.
Rochdale dad Abdul Hamied’s two sons Ismail and Asadh,12, had the jab at school after discussing the vaccine as a family.
The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to all 12 to 15-year-olds following the government’s acceptance of the UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommendation. Like the flu and HPV vaccines, it is currently being delivered by local School Age Immunisation Services.
Those aged 12 to 15 can receive one dose of the vaccine and all young people in this group are being encouraged to take the vaccine to get their lives moving and improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Abdul, who has had two doses of the vaccine, said: “I’m really pleased and a bit relaxed now my boys have had the jab. Overall, as a family unit, we are now all protected.
“Hopefully as more and more children get the vaccination, the risk of infection and spreading infection will be reduced and more fundamentally for my boys, their education won’t be affected by the pandemic.”
Ismail and Asadh’s education played a big part in the family’s decision for the boys to have the vaccine.
Abdul added: “Their educational development has been hindered in the last year. My sons missed out on their leavers event in primary school last year due to the restrictions in place and this also impacted their first year of high school (20/21), which is incredibly important for them. It’s a new learning experience, but to do it remotely is not the same and this year they are already really enjoying the class-based learning.
“Because of the news updates about the COVID-19 programme and the ongoing challenges of lockdowns, there has been an ongoing conversation with my family, and we’ve been having a lot of mature conversations around the risks of Covid and the potential benefits of vaccination and getting back to normal life.
“It’s important that we as parents understand first and foremost about the COVID-19 vaccine, so when our kids ask us about it, we know what to say. There’s a wide range of sources available providing information on the benefits and the process of the vaccine.”
More than 282,000 vaccines have been given in Rochdale since the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme started in December last year, part of more than 10.2 doses given in the North West and more than 82 million nationally.
The COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection for young people and their families. By getting the vaccine, they will significantly reduce their chances of catching COVID-19 and passing it on to those around them, subsequently reducing the disruption to their education and social commitments.
Heywood GP and Clinical Commissioning Group Chair, Dr Chris Duffy said: “The schools vaccination programme is another important way we can help to reduce the incidence of Covid in our bid to getting back to normal. It’s great to see members of our community like the Hamied twins playing their part by having the vaccination as soon as they are eligible.”
For further information about the school Covid-19 vaccination programme visit the GOV.UK website here.