The NHS has been forced to issue a warning to parents after a concerning Covid vaccine hoax letter was sent to parents with school-aged children.

A letter designed to mirror the NHS with the aim of spreading the anti-vaccine message has been sent to parents detailing a “consent checklist” for their children.

NHS England medical director for Covid immunisation Dr Jonathan Leach took to Twitter to warn parents that the forms are fake saying it was "not a legitimate NHS form".

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Nadhim Zahawi said: "As Education Secretary, I want teachers and students to know that I will always stand up for them and tackle harassment head on, so teachers can do their vital jobs safely and children can get the education they deserve - regardless of choices made over vaccination."

Julie McCulloch of the ASCL head teachers' union has called on people behind the fake letter to stop.

"We would appeal for those behind these fake consent forms to stop circulating them," she said.

"One of these pressures is the fact that a large number of pupils have caught Covid and are absent from school - the very thing that the vaccination programme is designed to address."

Brian Conway, chief executive of the trust added: "Our schools are doing an amazing job to continue their primary purpose of education and to keep children and staff safe.

“It is shocking that we are being targeted by hoaxers, who are trying to undermine those efforts by pretending they are from the NHS.”

It comes as appointment letters inviting children aged between 12 and 15 for a coronavirus vaccine will be dropping through letterboxes this week.

Drop-in clinics have been available to this age group for the last week and now scheduled appointments, starting this week, are being issued to all those eligible.

Children aged between 12 and 15 will be offered a single dose of the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine.

Parents and carers are being encouraged to accompany their children to community-based appointments where possible so they can discuss any questions they have with staff at the site.