“In my daughter’s school there are no signs of vaccines so far. No consent forms received either,” said Arancha Bueno, who lives in Kent and has two children.
She is not alone. Many parents who contacted the Guardian in response to a call-out about the Covid vaccine programme for 12- 15-year-olds were still waiting to hear when their child might be vaccinated, their schools left often in the dark too.
Bueno said: “The school sent a message earlier this week asking parents to stop asking the school for information on when the vaccination programme will commence as they hadn’t received any information on it yet.
“I would like my daughter to be vaccinated as soon as possible as the number of cases in the community are still very high. My son had Covid a few weeks ago after an outbreak in his class. So I’m in fear she will be next.”
An ITU nurse in Suffolk was similarly worried. “My daughter was due to have her vaccine at school last week. Thanks to the fuel crisis, explained away as ‘unforeseen circumstances’, that didn’t happen, and the vaccinations have been cancelled until further notice.
“Over a third of my daughter’s classmates have now tested positive via lateral flow tests and are now isolating. I worked in ITU over the height of the second wave, and having seen the very worst of the pandemic I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemies.”
In South Yorkshire there were also delays. “The school vaccination team are expected in our secondary school mid November. This is horrifying given the current rate of spread in our schools,” said one reader who responded to the call-out. “I’ve been in touch with our MP to ask why drop-in clinics are not available for 12-15s as they are in Scotland. It’s a desperate situation. No one seems to have an answer as to why England is adopting this incredibly slow roll-out.”
In Leicester, a mother with two children, in separate secondary schools, said each child had had postponed vaccination dates with no explanation. “No information has been provided to parents as to why that is, nor have we been told when vaccination will take place. The lack of information is troubling.”
In the east Midlands another mother said: “My 14-year-old was due to have the vaccine on 8 October at school, and I’d given my consent a couple of weeks ago via the online portal.
“Today, 6 October, we received notice that the vaccine won’t be given on Friday. The reason cited was, ‘the uptake of the vaccine for children has been extremely popular and the NHS trust are having to reschedule the dates in order to fit everyone in’. No future date has been given to the school.”
In Wiltshire there was disappointment too. One mother. said: “My son is 12 and was supposed to get the vaccination today along with the flu vaccination. The Covid vaccination was cancelled with 24 hours’ notice although the flu vaccination went ahead. We don’t know why the vaccination was cancelled or when it will happen.
“We want our son to be fully vaccinated, as his cousins are in Germany, but it’s not clear if he will be before half term. If we had been given the choice I would have booked him in and he would have had a vaccination already.”