Drop-in Covid vaccination clinics open for five-year-olds as more virus patients fill beds in Northampton and Kettering hospitals

‘Getting children jabbed helps protect them from worst of Covid and reduces risk to those around them,’ says county vaccine chief

By Kevin Nicholls
Monday, 11th April 2022, 2:58 pm

Drop-in vaccination clinics will be opened up for kids as young as five from this week in an effort to slow a rise in Covid hospital cases in Northamptonshire.

Appointments for jabs for those aged between five and 11 were made available for the first time earlier this month following Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advice to offer youngsters small doses.

But those in charge of the county’s vaccination rollout have earmarked three sites for no-appointment-necessary doses.

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Moulton Park is one of three sites where drop-in jabs are available for those as young as five

It follows more drop-ins added for those over-75 or vulnerable being offered spring booster vaccinations.

Chris Pallot, director of the county’s vaccination programme, said: “Getting children vaccinated will help protect them from the worst effects of Covid, as well as reducing the risk to those around them.

"Covid-19 is still very much active in the county and our best route to normality is to get vaccinated, whether that’s yourself or your child.”

“I understand there will be concerns from some parents and guardians about getting their child vaccinated, this is completely your decision.

"We want to protect children and their families and support parents to make an informed choice. You can speak to any of our vaccination staff, they are always happy to have a conversation.”

“We aim to make these sessions as child friendly and fun as possible. It really is just a pinch that could make a huge difference in protecting your child and others they come into contact with.”

NHS England published data on Monday (April 11) showing four previously unrecorded deaths among Covid patients at Northampton General Hospital.

The figures also showed 19 people sadly died while receiving treatment for the virus at NGH and Kettering General Hospital during the first eight days of April.

Separate data published on Thursday showed the number of Covid patients in county hospitals had risen to 184, the highest since February 2021.

Nationally, almost six in ten hospital patients with Covid-19 are being treated primarily for something else.

But all patients who test positive must be treated in separate wards, adding to pressures faced by NHS staff who are already trying to clear record backlogs of routine treatment.

Official numbers of recorded positive tests are way down although experts say this is due to ending free home testing and more services and businesses are reporting staff shortages down to workers being ill with Covid.

■ Click HERE to find out where you can get a Covid jab TODAY — HERE to book, or call 119.

Drop-in sessions for primary school-age children are being offered this week at the county vaccination centre at Moulton Park, Whitefields Surgery on Hunsbury Hill Road, Northampton, and at Towcestrians Sports Club on Greens Norton Road.

More could be added in the coming days, in addition to those clinics continuing to offer vaccinations by appointment.

Scientists called for the rollout of Covid vaccines for younger children after new data suggested that even a single dose of the Pfizer jab could help to prevent infection or lessen the severity of symptoms if they do get infected.