The 'Covid generation' of children are being punished by a slow vaccine rollout say councillors.

Councillor for Bourton Paul Hodgkinson is calling upon Gloucestershire County Council and the national Government to take immediate action following a surge in local cases.

He believes that the recent issues with testing, where a private lab in Wolverhampton issued negative PCR tests to those who had the virus, is a major factor in the recent spike.

Councillor Hodgkinson, who is also the leader of the Liberal Democrat group at GCC, said: “Lots of kids in this area went back to school after a negative PCR test despite having Covid.

“This is responsible for a huge spike in cases and now we'll not know who has and hasn't had it.”

He added: “Not only this but the vaccine rollout in schools has stalled.

“The deadline for getting 12-to15-year-olds jabbed has moved many times and is now December 14.

“The advice was also that you have to wait 28 days after having had Covid before getting the vaccination. Now the advice has been changed to 12 weeks!

“This means many families that were hoping for a fully vaccinated Christmas with families are now still not going to be vaccinated in time - anxiety for them and continued anxiety for children in school.”

Councillor Hodgkinson is joined in his plea by fellow Liberal Democrat councillor Jenny Forde, represents Churn Valley at the Cotswold District Council, where she serves as cabinet member for Well Being.

She said: “Isolation is also a huge issue. Young Gloucestershire have said they are very concerned at the high number of young people who are not leaving the house (apart from going to school). This is having a major impact on their mental health.

“We believe that communications around the latest vaccine rollout have been poorly handled and the result is that the worst impacted by this pandemic, the Covid-generation, are yet again left to suffer and carry the burden of being un-vaccinated and missing out on life-events.

“We call on the County Council and the Government to do much more to tackle the well being of children and to accelerate the vaccination programme for them.”