SWINDON'S health chief has addressed reports of a low Covid vaccine update in 12 to 15 year olds. 

Figures from the daily Covid dashboard revealed that 857 young teenagers had received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by October 17 – around 7.2 per cent of the age group. 

But the council’s director of public health Steve Maddern said: “There is a backlog in the data processing, so I think the data that’s being reported doesn’t accurately reflect the actual delivery itself.”

He said 55.5 per cent of 16 to 17 year olds have taken up the opportunity to have the vaccine. 

And 79.9 per cent of eligible Swindon residents have had their first dose, with 75.2 per cent having both doses.

In a joint letter to parents of secondary school and college pupils last week, education secretary Nadhim Zahawi and health secretary Sajid Javid told parents that vaccines are the best defence against Covid-19.

“They help protect young people, and benefit those around them," they said.

“Vaccination makes people less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on."