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Testing Update Information

 Daily testing of close contacts for Covid-19 – updated guidance for schools


As of Tuesday 14 December, adults who are fully vaccinated and all children and young people aged between 5 to 18 years and 6 months identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19, are strongly advised to take a lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for 7 days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result.


The DfE has updated the schools Covid-19 operational guidance and other sector guidance documents to reflect this. Updated frequently asked questions will also available soon on the early years and primary schools document sharing platform, and the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform.


Daily testing of close contacts of Covid-19 will help make education and childcare settings safer and help keep children and young people in face-to-face education.


Update on the delivery of the 12 to 15 vaccination programme


Young people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered a second dose of the vaccine at a minimum of 12 weeks from the first dose, following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).


NHS England have now confirmed that, as with first doses, healthy school-aged children aged 12 to 15 will be able to receive their Covid-19 vaccination in their school next term, as well as having the option to receive the vaccine out of school, such as through vaccination centres. These offers will run in parallel.


Vaccination for this group will continue to be deployed primarily by the school age immunisation service (SAIS). In school vaccination will begin from Monday 10 January and all schools should have received at least one visit before February half-term. It is expected that most schools will require multiple visits so vaccines can be administered to all consenting pupils. SAIS teams will be in touch with schools from the start of next term to discuss what is best for their circumstances.


For some very small schools, on-site vaccination may not be appropriate but alternative arrangements will be put in place to ensure timely, accessible, and equitable vaccination for these children.


More information for schools on the vaccination programme and how second dose delivery will work, including information on consent gathering, will be published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shortly.


Over the Christmas holidays, parents can already book first vaccinations for their child, if aged 12 or over, through the NHS booking system. Second doses will be available for eligible children by Monday 20 December.


Further information on vaccination for 12 to 15 year olds is available on the NHS website.