Wales leads the way with vaccine uptake in 16 and 17-year-olds

Public Health Wales said 51,366 young people aged 16 and 17 have now been jabbed

Almost two-thirds of 16 and 17-year-olds in Wales have had a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the highest figure in the UK.

Half of this age group in England and Scotland have been jabbed - while the figure is 40% in Northern Ireland.

It comes as pupils head back to schools and colleges amid uncertainty around how the new term might affect the spread of the virus.

In Scotland, a recent rise in cases is thought to be partly attributable to the reopening of schools for the new academic year last month.

Public Health Wales said 51,366 young people aged 16 and 17 have now been jabbed - less than a month after becoming eligible - which is equivalent to 63% of the age group.

More than 10% have received a second dose.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised on August 4 that all 16 and 17-year-olds should be given a first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan thanked those involved in Wales' vaccination programme and described it as "the most effective and efficient in the world".“I want to thank all those 16 and 17-year-olds who have come forward to have their vaccine – the more people who are fully vaccinated, the better protected we all are against this awful virus.

“Our vaccination programme is one of the most effective and efficient in the world, which is thanks to the enormous effort and hard work of all those involved.

“It’s never too late to be vaccinated in Wales – if you haven’t had a vaccine yet, please contact your health board or drop into one of the many walk-in centres.”