Almost 10,000 children in Suffolk and north Essex have had a Covid jab

Undated file photo of man receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Fewer than half of companies are giving staf

Children in Suffolk and north Essex are now eligible for a Covid vaccine - Credit: PA

Almost one in 20 children in Suffolk and north Essex has now had a Covid jab as a report found the UK's vaccine rollout programme has saved more than 100,000 lives.

Government data has revealed the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System (ICS), which is overseeing the rollout in the region, has administered 9,150 first doses to children under 18, with 2,007 now fully-vaccinated.

That means a total of 4.6% of the child population has had their first vaccine, with 1% double-jabbed.

Vaccines are being offered to 16- and 17-year-olds in a bid to give them some protection from Covid before the new school year begins at the start of September.

Almost half of the people in the next highest age group - 18- to 29-year-olds - have had both doses in Suffolk and north Essex, with more than two-thirds of 30 to 39-year-olds fully vaccinated.

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Throughout the region, 89.7% of people aged 16 and over have now had their first Covid jab, while 80.4% have had both.

Covid cases have begun to surge in Suffolk in recent weeks as health bosses confirmed on Thursday that 76 patients are now in hospital with the virus.

The vaccination figures come after a Public Health England report found the UK's rollout programme has directly averted between 102,500 and 109,500 deaths in total so far.

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid described the new data as "phenomenal" and said it was a "testament to the UK’s vaccination programme".

He said: "The vaccines have made a life-changing difference to so many of us and continue to help us build a stronger wall of defence every day,” he said.

"With over 24million infections prevented, vaccines are keeping people safe from harm and helping us reclaim our freedoms so we can return to normal life.

"Getting the vaccine has never been easier, thanks to sites being made available across a variety of sites including places of worship, festivals, and sporting grounds so please ensure you get your jab as soon as possible to ensure yourself, your loved ones and the people around you are protected."

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