Concerns are growing over low uptake of the coronavirus vaccine among under 12’s in Sheffield, with latest figures showing that less than 4% of eligible children have had the jab.
According to data from NHS England, just 1,853 children have been vaccinated despite the city having a population of 47,693 in this age bracket.
The worrying data makes Sheffield the sixth least vaccinated city in the region.
Sheffield’s vaccine rollout was a huge success, with 405,000 second doses being administered in the city.
However, numbers among school age children are lagging behind.
Michelle Rawlins, 48, from Sheffield, said: “I was more than happy to allow my six year old daughter to have the COVID-19 vaccine. I did my research and believe any risks are far outweighed by the benefits.
“My daughter is at school and has an elderly grandparent, so I wanted to protect the people that she mixes with as well as her.”
While Coronavirus cases and hospital admissions remain low due to the impact of vaccines, the importance of protecting children in schools cannot be understated.
Especially because they spend lots of time around elderly relatives.
A spokesperson for NHS England said: “Even if your child has already had COVID-19, it is still important to get them vaccinated.
“Being fully-vaccinated can offer them the best protection from the virus, as we have seen that it can be possible to develop COVID-19 more than once.”
They continued: “Getting vaccinated is a personal choice between families and their children, and we have now sent invites to everyone eligible, including to the parents of one million children aged five and six last week, with people able to book an appointment via the National Booking System.”
While the risk of serious illness from coronavirus is low for young children, a high risk of passing the illness on to vulnerable people remains. Long COVID is also a risk, albeit less so in young children.
Parents can book COVID-19 vaccinations for their children here.