Bexley and Greenwich school pupils aged as young as 12 are now being offered their coronavirus vaccines.

Both boroughs are rolling out in-school vaccination programmes to help vaccinate young people aged 12 to 15.

Greenwich Council say they want to "keep life moving and avoid further disruptions" to education, and that the vaccine is the most effective way of ensuring we can keep students in the classroom.

Safe, convenient and administered by Royal Greenwich GPs supported by Oxleas Young Greenwich school nurses, they are rolling out the vaccination programme to schools across Royal Greenwich, offering jabs to all young people who are eligible and have the necessary parental consent.

In Bexley, the council say the move is part of their drive to get more people protected ahead of winter as the pandemic continues.

This Is Local London: A Covid-19 vaccine - PAA Covid-19 vaccine - PA

Most children will be given their vaccine at school and it will be delivered in the same way that other school-aged vaccinations such as HPV and flu are managed.

Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust (HRCH) are the NHS team who deliver school vaccinations in Bexley and they will be visiting schools to offer the Covid-19 vaccine.

Bexley’s Director of Public Health Dr Anjan Ghosh said: “The rollout of the Covid vaccine in our schools to 12 - 15 year olds is an important and useful tool in reducing school disruption. It will also help protect our hospitals, vulnerable young people and adults by hindering the spread of the virus. “

This Is Local London: Pupils aged between 12 and 15 will now be offered jabs, with consent from parents and guardians.Pupils aged between 12 and 15 will now be offered jabs, with consent from parents and guardians.

Parents and guardians will get a letter with information about when the vaccine will be offered. Consent will be sought from parents, guardians and carers before vaccination starts.

Alternative arrangements will be made for children who are homeschooled, insecure services or specialist mental health settings.

Children will be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is the vaccine approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for children and young people over 12 years of age. This follows a thorough review of the safety, quality and effectiveness of the vaccine in this age group.

Councillor Matt Morrow, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “I urge all families and young people in Royal Greenwich to consider the offer of the vaccine and to take it up as soon as the rollout reaches your school.

“The vaccine protects you and stops the virus spreading, meaning you can continue to be in school, seeing your friends every day and getting the best quality education. Getting the jab helps us all get back to doing the things we love, safely.

“The appropriate consent will be secured from parents and carers of any 12 to 15-year-old getting the jab.”

At present, one dose of the vaccine will be offered to most children in this age group. Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), or live with someone who is immunosuppressed, will be offered two doses and will be contacted by their GP to arrange this.

Young people aged 16 and over can also get their jab via the schools' vaccination programme and at our pop-up/walk-in vaccination clinics – these are located here.

A free and confidential helpline is also available for any south east London resident with questions about the vaccine. Book online to arrange a friendly conversation with a healthcare professional.