The education and health secretaries have urged parents to get their children vaccinated to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Nadhim Zahawi and health secretary Sajid Javid have written to the parents of secondary school and college students today warning “vaccines are our best defence”.

The pair have also urged parents to keep testing their children twice-weekly, and “more frequently if they are specifically asked to do so”.

The intervention comes after data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed around one in 15 secondary school pupils are estimated to have tested positive for Covid in the week up to October 2. Cases among 16 to 24 year olds in FE and HE are falling.

Cases nationally however are increasing. Derby College is believed to be the first college to bring back face masks for staff and students since covering rules were relaxed following a spike in cases.

Today’s joint letter states: “Come forward for the COVID-19 vaccine. This is one of the best things young people can do to protect themselves and those around them.”

The letter adds “we need to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Young people who get ill will need to miss school or college, and may spread it to others.

“That is why we are encouraging you all to support your children to get vaccinated and to continue to test regularly. This will help to detect cases early, reduce spread, and keep students in education.”

Nadhim Zahawai

The letter states that “thousands” of youngsters have now been jabbed, adding: “Vaccines are our best defence against COVID-19. They help protect young people, and benefit those around them. Vaccination makes people less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on.”

The ministers also acknowledge some parents “will be concerned about the health risks to the young people you care for. We want to reassure you that the evidence shows that young people remain at very low risk of serious illness from COVID-19″.

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