THOUSANDS more teenagers in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine this month, figures show.

The UK Government is calling on eligible under 18s to get vaccinated this half term, with NHS staff and volunteers manning attractions such as zoos and skate parks to encourage more teenagers to get the jab.

Figures from the UK coronavirus dashboard show 4,389 people aged 16 and 17 in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole had received two jabs by February 11 – 53 per cent of the age group.

A further 3,805 12 to 15-year-olds had received two doses of a Covid vaccine by that date – 21 per cent of their age group.

READ MORE: What's happening with Covid across Dorset

It means 8,194 under-18s in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are double-jabbed – 31 per cent of 12 to 17 year olds, based on the number of people on the National Immunisation Management Service database – up 2,801 on a month earlier.

Thousands vaccinated

They are among 16,135 (62 per cent) who had received a first dose by February 11.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended that 16 to 17-year-olds receive a second dose of the Covid jab in November – extending the advice to those aged 12 to 15 just before Christmas.

Mark Marriott, Dorset HealthCare’s Senior Responsible Officer for the Dorset COVID Vaccination Programme , said:

“We are very pleased with the roll-out of the vaccination programme for teenagers across Dorset.

"We have achieved 74 per cent first doses in 16 to 17-year-olds and 60 per cent first doses in 12 to 15-year-olds, and we continue to work hard with our schools and community groups to reach all young people who wish to have a vaccination.

“Anyone aged 16 and over can obtain a jab at one of our two large vaccination centres (in Boscombe and Dorchester), from their GP or at a local pharmacy. Children aged 12-15 can also get the vaccine at school - visit our website for more details.”

The NHS said while many youngsters have already come forward for their vaccination, infection rates among school-age children remain high.

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Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics show that one in 11 pupils in school years 7 to 11 nationally tested positive for coronavirus in the week to February 5.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead of the NHS vaccination programme, said: “This half term offers the perfect opportunity to get your child protected, by booking an appointment online or using one of the hundreds of walk-in sites across the country.

“My 13-year-old son has now had two vaccinations and it has definitely given us both that extra dose of reassurance.”