A 12-year-old has revealed how he became one of the youngest in the country to receive the Covid-19 vaccine after he begged his parents to receive the jab.
Bertie Wood, from Wallingford in Oxfordshire, is among 240 children, aged between six and 17, who are to be inoculated with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in a UK-wide trial.
An additional 60 children will be given the control meningitis vaccine, which is proven to be safe in children but may produce similar reactions as the coronavirus jab — such as a sore arm, headache or high temperature.
Bertie received his first jab last week after he persuaded his parents to let him take part when he heard them talking about it in the kitchen.
He is due his second dose in three months time.
Bertie said: "No one had told me about it until I was being nosy. I just thought that it would be nice to do my bit for science. I said ‘I really, really, really want to do it’, and was super excited.
"I have been watching more science-y programmes just to see more stuff about it.
"I’m not that interested in science but I definitely am interested in doing my part."
The four study sites for the children’s trial are The University of Oxford, St George’s University Hospital, London, University Hospital Southampton and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.
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Bertie’s mother Laura Wood said that her nine-year-old-daughter had also asked if she could receive the vaccine.
Ms Wood, who works in digital marketing, said: "I was over the moon they both wanted to do something and I probably took a little bit more convincing, they had to convince me.
"The sense that 15 million people had already been vaccinated, 25,000 adults had been through a trial and there were no safety concerns and the control vaccine was Meningitis B, which neither child had had, it seemed like a win-win for them.”
Dr Emily Lawson, the chief commercial officer at NHS England and responsible for the vaccine rollout, revealed that her 13-year-old daughter Phoebe had also received the dose last Wednesday.
Phoebe Howard, 13, pictured next to her mother Dr Emily Lawson, Chief Commercial Officer for NHS England
After posting a picture on Twitter of Phoebe getting the jab, Dr Lawson was trolled online by a number of anti-vaxxers.
Dr Lawson said: "I think there are about four or five out of the 100 comments that were negative — some were politely negative and a couple I blocked and reported as they told me to watch some terrible bit of Antivax propaganda.
"I spend a lot of time trying to combat misinformation and I decided to post both because I’m so proud of Phoebe and because it’s important to show science will win.”