You may have seen the news that the NHS is going to vaccinate children and young people in specific groups, following advice from the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation).
Please do not contact the practice to book an appointment for your child – the NHS will invite you.
The groups that are eligible for the vaccination are:
- 17-year-olds that are within three months of turning 18
- 12-15-year olds ‘at risk’ with the underlying health conditions specified below:
- Severe neuro-disabilities
- Down’s Syndrome
- Underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression
- Those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register
- Children aged 12 years and older who are household contacts of individuals (adults or children) who are immunosuppressed (this is in addition to 16-17 year olds in this group, who became eligible earlier in the year).
These groups have been selected based on a combination of factors including their risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, passing it to others who may become seriously ill, and evidence of safety and effectiveness.
If your child aged 12 to 15 and is in one of the eligible groups, we will contact you by early September to invite you to book appointments for them for the vaccination. If you are within three months of turning 18, you will be invited directly to book your appointments via the national booking service at the appropriate time.
Here are some FAQs which can provide more information.
Why is the NHS only vaccinating some children and young people against COVID-19, and not all?
The NHS vaccinates in line with guidance from the independent JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), which provides expert advice on vaccinations to UK health departments. The JCVI recommends that only certain groups of children and young people are vaccinated because of a combination of factors including their risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, passing it to others who may become seriously ill, and evidence of safety and effectiveness.
My child is in one of the eligible groups. How do I arrange his/her vaccination?
The NHS is aiming to offer vaccination to all children and young people in the eligible groups by the start of the autumn term in September. If your child is in one of the new groups recommended for vaccination by the JCVI, you will be contacted by the NHS before then to arrange for your child’s vaccinations.
If you are within three months of turning 18, you will be invited directly to book your appointments via the national booking service at the appropriate time.
How do I know the vaccine is safe for my child?
The JCVI has reviewed extensive clinical evidence for the safety of giving the COVID-19 vaccine to children and young people in the eligible groups and have determined it to be safe and effective. The JCVI has determined that the benefit of vaccinating children in these groups outweighs the risks.
My child is not in one of the eligible groups. When will they be able to be vaccinated?
There are no current plans to vaccinate children and young people outside of the eligible groups. However, the JCVI is continually reviewing evidence on this matter and will advise the Government if it decides that a change of approach is required.
For further information visit NHS: Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines.