CHILDREN across Dorset aged 16 and 17 will be offered a Covid vaccine through a GP-led immunisation effort.

The programme, which comes after recently issued guidance by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), also applies to those aged between 12 and 15 who are considered at risk from existing health conditions.

GP and clinical lead for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Dorset, Dr Andy Rutland said: “We are now working across Dorset to roll out the vaccine to 16 and 17 year olds, and younger children age 12 and over who are at high risk from COVID-19.

We thank families and carers for supporting us with this programme and ensuring we offer the vaccine to all those for whom it is appropriate.”

Young people will be offered a Pfizer jab at GP-led hubs across the county and invitations are going out via SMS or letter. There is no need for them to contact their GP surgery.

A small number of children (aged 12 to 15) who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 or who live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus are also being contacted by GP-led vaccination services locally and invited for their vaccine.

GPs in Dorset are reminding patients to update their contact and mobile details so that eligible young people and children can be invited for the jab.

Meanwhile, teenagers within three months of turning 18 can also now book their vaccine appointment online (at community pharmacies, and large vaccination centres like the BIC) through the National Booking Service or by calling 119.

More than one million doses and rising have now been delivered in Dorset.