THERE are fears children could be missing out on the Covid jab as it emerged vaccination uptake in the North East is among the worst in the country.

The Government has been accused of having a "shambolic" approach to the vaccinating of children after figures revealed the majority of areas in the region were seeing lower than average rates.

Last night, the Labour MP for Durham, Mary Foy said she had been made aware from school leaders that they had not received the support needed as she said infections in schools had "rocketed" in days.

It comes as parents last week hit out over a "lack of action" after schools ran out of vaccines and were left unable to plan any further follow up clinics as they were unaware of when they would next receive supply.

Read more: Parents hit out after pupils at North East secondary school are left unvaccinated

A breakdown of Government figures, which show the estimated number of first doses issued to 12 to 15 year olds as of October 16, showed nine out of 14 areas had seen fewer than 15 percent of eligible pupils vaccinated in the space of four weeks.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

‘Too many children to get through'

Reacting, Ms Foy slammed the Government as she claimed many schools had not been yet contacted about the delivery of vaccine, despite the rollout launching on September 20.

She said: "School leaders across the region have reported to me that not enough vaccinators have been attending schools, with some being told they have ‘too many children’ to get through.

"Many have not even been contacted about vaccine delivery, despite the Government’s aim to have all children who have received or given consent vaccinated before half-term.

"These woeful figures are replicated across England, and it is little wonder that Scotland and Wales are significantly ahead of us."


Darlington and Stockton Times: City of Durham MP Mary Kelly Foy

According to the figures, vaccination uptake in 12 to 15 year olds in Scotland currently stands at around 46 percent, with one area - Dumfries and Galloway – seeing 62.9 percent of pupils vaccinated.

In England, the average stands at 14.4 percent – with Wokingham in Berkshire being the highest at 36.2 percent, and Barking and Dagenham the lowest at just 3.5 percent.

Ms Foy, who said it was "worrying" that the Government could not "foresee" delays to the vaccine in children, said children had been "failed" as she slammed a decision which prevented 12 to 15 year olds getting their jab at a walk-in site.

She said: "While we are completely reliant on the vaccine being delivered through schools, these areas have adopted a mixed model of provision, including using drop-in centres, vaccination sites and GPs as well as schools.

"Children have been sent back into schools with most of the Covid restrictions removed, and rates of infection amongst school children has rocketed.

"As any person who contracts Covid has at least a 28 day wait before they are able to receive their vaccine, it is worrying that the Government couldn’t foresee this delay in rollout, and perhaps make plans during the summer holidays to ensure the smooth delivery of vaccines for young people."

Parents at Southmoor Academy in Sunderland previously raised concerns that children were being left vulnerable after Government guidance stated 12 to 15 year olds would not be able to have their jab at a walk-in centre, despite the school "running out" of vaccines.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Government intervenes

But in a twist of circumstances last night, the Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that schoolchildren in England would now be able to have their jab at national vaccination sites.

In a statement, he said the vaccination programme would be "ramping up" in a move that would given schoolchildren and families more "flexibility."

He said: “To make the most of half-term next week, we will now be opening up the national booking service to all 12 to 15-year-olds to have their Covid vaccinations in existing national vaccination centres, which will offer families more flexibility.

“I think it is important that anyone who is invited as eligible for a vaccine, including young people, that they do come forward and take up that offer.”

'Local providers will continue to contact schools'

In response to the figures, a spokesperson for the NHS vaccination programme in North East said that local providers are continuing to contact schools to organise vaccinations.

They said: "In just a few weeks, vaccination teams across the North East have worked incredibly hard to put arrangements in place to offer these all important jabs in schools.

“As the rollout continues, local providers will continue to contact schools and work with parents to agree consent and organise vaccinations.”

How the North East compares

The uptake percentage in 12 to 15 year olds is as follows:

Darlington 20.4 percent

Redcar and Cleveland 16.5 percent

Sunderland 16.5 percent

South Tyneside 14.1 percent

County Durham 13.3 percent

Gateshead 13.2 percent

North Yorkshire (Hambleton and Richmondshire) 11.2 percent

Northumberland 10.0 percent

Stockton 9.7 percent

Middlesbrough 9.0 percent

North Tyneside 8.3 percent

Newcastle 6.2 percent

The figures for England and Scotland 

Dumfries and Galloway 62.9 percent

Perth and Kinross 62.6 percent

Orkney Islands 62.1 percent

Aberdeenshire 61.8 percent

Angus 59.3 percent

East Ayrshire 58.1 percent

Scottish Borders 57.0 percent

South Ayrshire 56.2 percent

Fife 55.4 percent

Falkirk 53.7 percent

Stirling 53.7 percent

East Dunbartonshire 53.4 percent

Moray 53.0 percent

Clackmannanshire 52.0 percent

North Ayrshire 51.9 percent

South Lanarkshire 51.7 percent

Aberdeen City 49.6 percent

Dundee City 47.5 percent

East Lothian 46.5 percent

North Lanarkshire 45.7 percent

Inverclyde 45.5 percent

Na h-Eileanan Siar 43.6 percent

East Renfrewshire 43.2 percent

West Lothian 43.0 percent

Midlothian 42.3 percent

Glasgow City 36.8 percent

Renfrewshire 36.7 percent

Wokingham 36.2 percent

West Dunbartonshire 34.3 percent

Shetland Islands 34.2 percent

City of Edinburgh 33.5 percent

Derbyshire 29.1 percent

Hertfordshire 29.1 percent

Warrington 29.1 percent

Isle of Wight 28.9 percent

Windsor and Maidenhead 28.8 percent

Shropshire 28.0 percent

West Berkshire 27.9 percent

Oxfordshire 27.2 percent

Rutland 26.7 percent

Richmond upon Thames 25.8 percent

Lancashire 25.7 percent

Kirklees 25.6 percent

Lincolnshire 25.4 percent

Harrow 25.0 percent

Cumbria 24.9 percent

Cheshire West and Chester 24.2 percent

Southampton 24.2 percent

Bracknell Forest 23.0 percent

Buckinghamshire 22.8 percent

North East Lincolnshire 22.5 percent

Rotherham 22.3 percent

Telford and Wrekin 22.2 percent

Barnet 22.1 percent

Thurrock 21.8 percent

Nottinghamshire 21.6 percent

Derby 21.5 percent

Southend-on-Sea 21.3 percent

Portsmouth 21.1 percent

Trafford 20.7 percent

Darlington 20.4 percent

Warwickshire 20.1 percent

Brighton and Hove 19.8 percent

Norfolk 19.8 percent

Sheffield 19.8 percent

Essex 19.5 percent

Leicestershire 19.1 percent

North Lincolnshire 19.1 percent

Hampshire 18.5 percent

Cambridgeshire 18.3 percent

Camden 18.3 percent

Barnsley 18.2 percent

Argyll and Bute 17.8 percent

Stockport 17.6 percent

Worcestershire 17.6 percent

Milton Keynes 17.1 percent

Surrey 17.1 percent

Highland 17.0 percent

Hillingdon 17.0 percent

Redcar and Cleveland 16.5 percent

Sunderland 16.5 percent

Somerset 16.4 percent

Tameside 16.4 percent

Coventry 16.3 percent

Bedford 16.0 percent

Central Bedfordshire 15.7 percent

Ealing 15.6 percent

Solihull 15.0 percent

Kingston upon Thames 14.9 percent

Kent 14.8 percent

Sutton 14.8 percent

Reading 14.7 percent

Halton 14.6 percent

Below the England average 

Cheshire East 14.3 percent

South Tyneside 14.1 percent

Suffolk 14.1 percent

Bromley 13.8 percent

Islington 13.8 percent

Brent 13.7 percent

Hounslow 13.6 percent

Northamptonshire 13.6 percent

Salford 13.6 percent

Blackburn with Darwen 13.4 percent

East Sussex 13.4 percent

County Durham 13.3 percent

Doncaster 13.3 percent

Gateshead 13.2 percent

Rochdale 13.1 percent

Medway 12.9 percent

Wigan 12.9 percent

Merton 12.6 percent

Blackpool 12.4 percent

West Sussex 12.1 percent

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole 11.8 percent

Croydon 11.7 percent

Haringey 11.6 percent

Leeds 11.6 percent

Birmingham 11.4 percent

North Yorkshire 11.2 percent

Dorset 11.1 percent

Herefordshire 10.6 percent

Gloucestershire 10.3 percent

Luton 10.3 percent

Nottingham 10.3 percent

Bath and North East Somerset 10.0 percent

Northumberland 10.0 percent

Sefton 9.8 percent

Westminster 9.8 percent

Stockton-on-Tees 9.7 percent

Wiltshire 9.6 percent

Wandsworth 9.5 percent

Liverpool 9.4 percent

Staffordshire 9.3 percent

East Riding of Yorkshire 9.1 percent

Leicester 9.1 percent

Middlesbrough 9.0 percent

Redbridge 9.0 percent

Manchester 8.9 percent

Calderdale 8.8 percent

Lambeth 8.8 percent

Kensington and Chelsea 8.7 percent

North Somerset 8.7 percent

Oldham 8.7 percent

Slough 8.7 percent

Havering 8.6 percent

Torbay 8.6 percent

Wirral 8.6 percent

Devon 8.4 percent

Dudley 8.4 percent

Hammersmith and Fulham 8.4 percent

South Gloucestershire 8.4 percent

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 8.3 percent

North Tyneside 8.3 percent

York 8.3 percent

Sandwell 8.2 percent

Peterborough 8.0 percent

Walsall 7.8 percent

Bury 7.7 percent

Wakefield 7.5 percent

Enfield 7.4 percent

St. Helens 7.2 percent

Swindon 7.2 percent

Wolverhampton 7.0 percent

Plymouth 6.7 percent

Bexley 6.6 percent

Bolton 6.6 percent

Hartlepool 6.5 percent

Knowsley 6.5 percent

Bradford 6.4 percent

Southwark 6.3 percent

Kingston upon Hull, City of 6.2 percent

Newcastle upon Tyne 6.2 percent

Stoke-on-Trent 6.2 percent

Greenwich 6.1 percent

Hackney and City of London 5.9 percent

Bristol 5.8 percent

Waltham Forest 5.7 percent

Tower Hamlets 5.6 percent

Lewisham 5.2 percent

Newham 5.2 percent

Barking and Dagenham 3.5 percent

To view the figures for vaccinations as a whole on the Government's Covid dashboard - click here