Covid-19: Vaccinated school pupil 'excited' to be near grandparents

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Image caption, Quinn, 15, received a Covid vaccine at his school in Essex

One of the first pupils in England to receive a Covid-19 vaccination in the rollout to under-16s said he was "excited" that he could now spend time with his grandparents.

All children aged 12-15 across the UK are to be offered one dose of a Covid vaccine.

Quinn, 15, was given a Pfizer vaccination at Belfairs Academy in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

He said: "I was nervous at first but in the long run it's going to be good."

Quinn said he wanted the vaccine because "I can keep safe near my family and with my grandparents".

He added: "I can go near them, I'm really excited to be around them."

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Image caption, Quinn said home learning during the pandemic had been "really hard"

Quinn, who previously had to self-isolate, said: "Now that I've got my jab I can stay in school and learn - with my GCSEs coming up it's going to be really good."

His mother Janine Lilleker, 44, a teacher at the school, said: "Their education has been hindered since Covid and by getting their vaccination done it's a way of them protecting themselves and also protecting the wider community of the school.

"We've had our vaccines done as parents so why not my son?"

Those aged 12 to 15 are already eligible for two doses if they are at higher risk due to conditions such as a severely weakened immune system or a severe neurodisability.

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Image caption, Pupil Jack said the vaccine made it less worrying to go out

Jack, 14, also a pupil at Belfairs Academy, said: "I was happy to have it because it stops the risk of becoming more ill from going outside.

"Despite hating needles, I'd rather have it done and get it out of the way."

Johan Zweistra, the school's vice principal, said there had been "significant uptake" by children with permission of their parents.

He said the school has put two days aside for vaccinations and hoped to get the majority done in that time.

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Image caption, In England, consent letters are being sent out to parents and guardians with information on the Covid-19 vaccination

The UK's chief medical officers recommended a single Pfizer dose for all 12 to 15-year-olds.

Prof Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, said it was a "difficult decision", but that absence from school "has been extraordinarily difficult for children".

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