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Vaccinations begin as more than 500 pupils test positive for Covid-19 in Cambridgeshire

Protective measures around classes or year groups are set to be introduced to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in schools.

Children aged 12-15 will be offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine (51197824)
Children aged 12-15 will be offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine (51197824)

The measures, which education authority Cambridgeshire County Council says is not a return to the bubble system, come after 521 cases were reported across 133 settings in Cambridgeshire last week.

Parents and guardians of children aged 12-15 have also begun to receive letters from the school-aged immunisation service provider, with details of when the vaccination will be offered.

For most children, this will be through a session at their school and some vaccinations have begun.

A spokesperson for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Our school vaccination teams are now delivering vaccinations to children aged 12 to 15 in schools.”

Jonathan Lewis, service director for education at the county council, told the Cambridge Independent: “As expected with the start of term we have seen an increase in the number of cases. In response (and in line with the Department for Education contingency arrangements), we are using a range of measures to ensure our schools remain safe. Schools are not reintroducing the bubble arrangements from last academic year but we are looking to put in place protective measures around classes or year groups to try and reduce in school transmissions.

“The council’s public health and education services are working closely with Public Health England and the Department for Education. We would encourage parents and pupils to continue to follow the advice schools and the government are giving.”

Deputy headteacher at Comberton Village College, Sean Sycamore, said Covid vaccinations would begin at the school, which has seen around 50 positive cases reported, next month.

In an email to parents, he said: “We have been contacted by Hertfordshire and East Anglia Community and School Age Immunisation Team regarding the Covid-19 vaccination for children aged 12-15.

“We have been informed that the vaccination team will be at Comberton Village College on Monday, October 4 to deliver this vaccination programme.

“We continue to see positive PCR cases reported by pupils in school since we have returned to school. “There have been around 50 cases now reported and the vaccination program is being offered by the NHS as a helpful measure in reducing infections across young people and our community.”

Parents and guardians are required to complete a consent request before the vaccination can be delivered.

A letter from the Hertfordshire and East Anglia Community and School Age Immunisation Team, which was sent alongside the email, added: “The Covid-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of suffering from Covid-19 disease. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, and it takes a few weeks for the body to build up protection from the vaccine. Some people may still get Covid-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should lessen the severity of any infection.

“The vaccine cannot give Covid-19 infection, and two doses will reduce the chance of becoming seriously ill. Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them.”

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