Schools: Coronavirus and Influenza

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th July 2022.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government announcement of 15 July 2022 that over-50s will be offered a flu jab and covid-19 booster this autumn, whether he has made any representations to the (a) UK Health Security Agency, (b) Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and (c) Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the potential merits of prioritising school staff for vaccination.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Minister of State (Education)

Identifying priority groups for vaccinations are clinical decisions taken by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), informed by advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI). JCVI advised that the primary objective of the 2022 autumn booster programme is to augment immunity in those at higher risk from COVID-19 and thereby optimise protection against severe COVID-19, specifically hospitalisation and death, over winter 2022 to 2023.

Other school staff are currently not eligible to receive an autumn booster as part of this programme. However, staff who meet the central eligibility criteria are entitled to a free flu vaccination through the NHS, and schools can choose to provide flu vaccines for their staff through their occupational health services.

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