‘Super Sunday’ for vaccinations in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight as additional slots for 5-11s and family bookings made available
More children aged 5-11 will be able to access the vaccine from 1 May as Solent NHS Trust puts on clinics every Sunday for the whole of May.
Solent, as part of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Vaccination Programme, has provided an additional 3,500 appointments across three mass vaccination sites at Oakley Road in Southampton, Hamble House in Portsmouth and Riverside on the Isle of Wight.
Over 6,000 children have already come forward since the 4 April when vaccinations launched for this age group, and the additional slots will enable even more to get vaccinated. Hamble House and Oakley Road will also be able to offer ‘family slots’ enabling parents and their children to get vaccinated at the same time.
Angela Anderson, Clinical Director for the Solent NHS Trust COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “Our 5-11 vaccination clinics have been very successful – our dedicated teams have created a ‘child-friendly’ atmosphere to ensure that children are as comfortable as possible when receiving their vaccine. We have adapted our service model to provide longer slots, specialist training and adaptations to the environment. We’ve run competitions, had visits from our therapy dog as well as providing games and toys for children to play with, and we’ve had very positive feedback from parents and children.
“As a parent or guardian, the decision to get your child aged 5-11 vaccinated is yours. As well as protecting your child against serious COVID infection, by getting vaccinated, it can also reduce the risk of passing on the infection to others.”
Dr Matt Nisbet, Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 Vaccines Programme Clinical Lead said: “The vaccine is still our best protection against COVID-19. It is safe and I would encourage anyone eligible to get their jab. We know children in this age group are least affected by the virus, however getting the vaccine isn’t just about protecting them, but also their friends, teachers, classmates and family members who might be susceptible to the virus. Our staff are happy to talk to any parent or child who is unsure and wants to learn more before deciding.”
Slots must be booked via the national booking system (www.nhs.uk). People in Hampshire can also call the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on 0300 561 0018 to find their nearest site (including walk-ins and pop-ups) and book their next appointment. Those wanting to attend as a family but who aren’t the parent must bring evidence of parental guardianship or parental responsibility.
Over 18,000 12-15 year olds are also still eligible for their second vaccination so it is hoped the ability to bring other family members to be vaccinated at the same time will help improve uptake. This is especially important as the weather improves and social activities become more prevalent.
In Hampshire and Isle of Wight, over 4million doses have now been given providing protection for the most vulnerable and enabling young people to return to school. However, people can catch COVID-19 multiple times and as the virus continues to mutate vaccination provides the best protection for ourselves and the people around us.