Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
2 September 2021updated 05 Sep 2021 10:55am

England is far behind other countries on vaccinating teenagers

As schools return, only 13.3 per cent of 12- to 17-year-olds have received at least one vaccine dose.

By Ben van der Merwe

With schools reopening across England this week, government scientists have described a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases as “highly likely”.

One reason given by the scientists is the extremely low rates of vaccination among school-age children. In England, no more than 13.3 per cent of 12- to 17-year-olds had received at least one vaccine dose by 22 August, according to a New Statesman analysis of government data.

England is far behind other countries on vaccinating teenagers
Share of 12- to 17*-year-olds that have received at least one dose

Although England’s vaccination of under-18s has increased in recent weeks, the damage is done. It will be at least eight weeks before those currently receiving their first dose are able to receive their second, and a further two before they are fully protected.

That means at least 87 per cent of English 12- to 17-year-olds will not be fully protected until after half-term. If vaccinations continue at their current rate, no more than 48 per cent will be fully protected by Christmas.

The risk of death from Covid-19 is exceedingly low for young people, but the virus can cause severe illness. More than 40 under-18s are currently being hospitalised each day due to Covid-19, a number expected to increase as the virus makes its way through schools.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. Your new guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture each weekend - from the New Statesman. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

High rates of infection among young people also risks providing an incubator for future mutations, and a base from which it may spread to more vulnerable groups.

Content from our partners
Defining a Kodak culture for the future
How do we restore trust in the public sector?
A better future starts at home

The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) only approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in 16- to 17-year-olds on 4 August, with the government beginning the roll-out three weeks later. Children aged between 12 and 15 are expected to be offered the jab in September.