Julian the Jabbing Lion urges families to book COVID jabs for their children

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Julian the Jabbing Lion has urged families to book COVID vaccinations for their children.

Spots for youngsters aged 5-11 can be booked from tomorrow (Saturday, April 2), with the first sessions opening on Monday.

The mascot in Cambridgeshire, Julian the Jabbing Lion, will be at a number of centres across the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire in the coming days and weeks to welcome young visitors and make them feel welcome.

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‘Julian’ said: “Book your appointment – come along for your jab – and have fun while you’re here!

Julian the Jabbing Lion with EmilyJulian the Jabbing Lion with Emily
Julian the Jabbing Lion with Emily

“You can join in with I-spy and spot the difference games, and colour in a unique image created by world renowned illustrator Sir Quentin Blake featuring himself and local author Dr Peter Rowan (one of our fantastic vaccinators). You’ll also receive a certificate and a sticker, and you can take a photo using our selfie-frames to show your mates how brave you’ve been. I’ll be visiting lots of our centres on different days so come and say hi if you see me!”

A video has also been produced to help youngsters understand what will happen at the vaccine centre.

It has been voiced by Emily, the eight year old daughter of Andrew Lamb, Head of Clinical Operations for the large-scale vaccination centres run by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.

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She said: “It was great fun being the voice of ‘cartoon’ Emily and I hope it helps other children get ready to have their vaccine and talk to their mum or dad, or the kind people at the vaccine centres, about any questions they have.”

You can view the animation here: https://vimeo.com/671102692/aaca5f4378

Dr David Vickers, Medical Director, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, added: “As a paediatrician, I welcome the expansion of the vaccination programme to younger children. To date, 5-11-year-olds in at risk categories have been able to access a vaccination and can continue to do so. From 4 April, all 5-11-year-olds can do the same. We know vaccines give significant protection against severe illness from covid, so it is important that our youngest and most at-risk get protected.

“As the fastest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history continues, parents and guardians of children aged 5-11 can book their child’s first appointment via the National Booking Service at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccine, with a second dose available 12 weeks later. Vaccinations for 5-11-year-olds not in at risk groups are not available on a walk-in basis.”

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All 5-11-year-olds will be offered two 10 microgram doses of the Pfizer vaccine; a third of the amount used for adult vaccinations.

Parents and guardians are asked to attend the vaccination centre with their children and are asked to read the patient information available.

Children aged 5-11 who are in a clinical risk group or who live with someone who is immunosuppressed can continue to access their first dose of the covid vaccine on a walk-in basis or via a booked appointment. Eligible children include those with diabetes, immunosuppression, learning disabilities, and other conditions as outlined by the UK Health Security Agency in the Green Book. Eligible children in this cohort will get a second dose eight weeks after their first dose and can’t receive any vaccination until four weeks after a positive test for coronavirus.

Large-scale vaccination centres are open seven days a week 8.30 am to 4pm and some late evenings at the following locations:

Horsefair Shopping Centre, Wisbech, Cambs PE13 1AR

The Grafton Centre, Cambridge CB1 1PS

The Eatons Community Centre, Eaton Socon, St Neots PE19 8ES

The Oaktree Centre, 1 Oak Drive, Huntingdon PE29 7HN

Queensgate Shopping Centre, Peterborough PE1 1NT

Chesterton Indoor Bowls Centre, Logan’s Way, Chesterton, Cambridge CB4 1BL

Further information including later evening openings is available at www.thevaccinators.co.uk