Covid is spreading among teenagers at a rate three times worse than the Reading average, but parents are divided as to whether to have them vaccinated.

Latest government figures show one in 83 people aged 15-19 were infected with Covid in the week ending September 8, compared to one in 272 people across all age groups.

The news comes as children aged 12 to 15 in England are to be offered their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Health ministers are yet to publicly approve the move, but the UK’s four chief medical officers (CMOs) have recommended it and a document published on the PHE section of the Government website states all children aged 12 will be offered a first jab.

Reading Chronicle: The Public Health England guide to Covid-19 vaccination for children and young peopleThe Public Health England guide to Covid-19 vaccination for children and young people

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The CMOs justified their advice on the grounds that infection surges in schools should be anticipated for some time alongside a prolonged and unpredictable epidemic.

“Vaccination is likely to reduce, but not eliminate, education disruption,” they said.

They added: “The effects of disrupted education, or uncertainty, on mental health are well recognised.

“There can be lifelong effects on health if extended disruption to education leads to reduced life chances.”

In the seven days ending September 8, one in every 137 children aged 10 – 14 caught Covid in Reading.

Reading parents have been split by the issue, with some intending not to allow their children to be vaccinated while others think the recommendation is a positive move.

On a Reading Chronicle Facebook post, a woman wrote: “I have no idea why you'd refuse it. You vaccinate your baby, why wouldn't you vaccinate your teenager?”

Some parents said they would let their child make the final decision, with one writing: “My 14-year-old son wants the vaccine and I will allow him to make that choice.”

Another agreed: “Yes, if they were happy enough to have it.”

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“My son is 17 and refuses to have it done. He said he didn't have a choice growing up but now does. I obviously want him to have it but can't force him,” posted one woman.

On the other hand, some Facebook accounts were strongly against the idea, commenting ‘definitely no’ and ‘not a chance’.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has been asked to look at whether second doses should be given to children aged 12 to 15 once more data comes through internationally.