The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that 5 to 11-year-olds who are either in a clinical risk group or are a household contact of someone of any age who is immunosuppressed should be offered two 10 micrograms doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with a minimum interval of eight weeks.
This means around half a million children will soon be invited to take up their jab.
The JCVI has set out criteria for determining who should be offered vaccination within this group and clinicians will be responsible for identifying children in their care who are eligible. Parents will need to give consent for their child to be vaccinated.
Information on eligibility can be found in the Green Book, chapter 14a, which is published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). See the section on children aged 5-11 years and tables 3 and 4.
How will I know if my child is eligible?
GPs and hospital specialists have been asked to identify 5 to 11-year-olds who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
For children eligible as a household contact, the person who is immunosuppressed will be written to directly.
Parents and guardians will be notified if their child should get the vaccine and told how they can book an appointment.
The NHS will be in touch with you in the coming weeks if your child is eligible, so please wait to hear and do not contact your GP.
Where will children be given their vaccine?
Vaccination services have been asked to make preparations to vaccinate this cohort and consider necessary reasonable adjustments to accommodate their needs on an individual basis, to ensure children and their families have a positive experience.
It is expected that most children will get vaccinated at a site run by local GPs, a hospital or a specialist children’s centre. In cases where this isn’t possible, local arrangements will be in place with community pharmacies, vaccination hubs, housebound teams and in some cases at special schools.
Please be aware, parents will not be able to book their child’s vaccination appointment by calling 119 or using the national booking system.