MORE than half of the Island's 12 to 15 year olds are yet to have a Covid vaccine as health bosses urge them to do so.

A team of vaccinators went round secondary schools on the Island to give first doses to pupils after the age limit for a Covid vaccine was lowered.

However, only 2,751 12 to 15-year-olds, 47 per cent of the cohort, received one — something the senior responsible officer and programme director for the Island's vaccination programme, Jane Ansell, said she was really concerned about.

Speaking at the Isle of Wight Council's local outbreak engagement board meeting last Friday, Ms Ansell said the second vaccine would be offered to pupils from mid-January.

Ms Ansell said the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group was working closely with the education sector to see what could be done, including offering non vaccinated pupils first jabs while giving others their second to make the best use of vaccinators.

Wendy Perera, the council's assistant chief executive, said the relatively high number of Covid cases in schools may have limited the number of pupils eligible for a vaccine.

If children have had Covid, they have to wait 12 weeks before they can have a vaccine.

Read more about the take up of Covid vaccinations here.

Simon Bryant, the Island's director of public health, said increasing rates were being seen across the board but mainly in the younger school-age population.

He said in those five to nine years old, the rates are highest as children interact and are unvaccinated.

The UK's medicine regulator is currently deciding whether to vaccinate five to 11-year-olds but plans are being slowly developed should it be approved.

A pop-up vaccination clinic was announced last week at the Isle of Wight College by the CCG for 16 to 17-year-olds who are yet to have their vaccine, as NHS England statistics show 65 per cent of them (1,812 teens) have had one dose.