Over 800,000 5 to 11 year olds in London to get their Covid-19 vaccine as NHS bookings open

Parents and carers of 5 to 11 years olds in London will be able to book a Covid-19 vaccine for their children today (2 April), as the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history expands again.

Appointments are available at sites across the capital from Monday with more coming online throughout the week.

The NHS is making the vaccine available for all 5 to 11s following updated JCVI guidance, which recommended all children would benefit from a non-urgent offer of the vaccine, with almost five million now eligible.

NHS staff in London have already been vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 years old who have medical conditions that put them at increased risk from Covid-19 or who live with someone with a weakened immune system, and more than 200,000 12-15 year olds have already come forward for their first jab in the capital.

Most appointments for this age group will be available at local vaccination centres or community pharmacies outside of school hours and are available to book through the online booking service or by calling 119.

The NHS will be adding more appointments throughout the week so anyone unable to get a convenient slot initially should keep trying.

There are also convenient vaccine walk-ins across the country which families can find through the NHS grab a jab website.

The NHS will also be sending invites to parents and guardians of eligible children throughout the next few weeks to let them know they can now book in for a vaccine and some people will be invited by their GP.

Dr Oge Ilozue, GP and Senior Clinical Advisor to the London Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, said:

“In London from today, parents of over 800,000 5 to 11 year olds will be invited to book in their children for a first dose of the vaccine, helping to protect themselves and families against Covid-19.

“Vaccines remain the best defence we have against the virus so I would encourage all parents to read the NHS information available and consider booking their child in now.”

The NHS has pulled out all the stops to make vaccinations as easy as possible for children, with many providing toys and distractions for children receiving their first vaccine or their younger siblings while they wait.

Sites are also allowing for longer appointment times so that families can discuss their decisions, and ensure visits with children are as stress-free as possible.

Parents and guardians are being encouraged to read the patient and consent information in advance of booking their child’s appointment and will be asked to provide consent for their child’s vaccination on the day.

The JCVI has advised that all children aged between 5 to 11 will be offered two 10 microgram doses, a third of the strength given to all over the age of 12, of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty®) with an interval of at least 12 weeks between doses (or 8 weeks for children who have medical conditions that put them at increased risk from COVID-19 or who live with someone with a weakened immune system.)

Families will be given a vaccination record card once their child has been vaccinated and are asked to keep this in a safe place. The vaccination record card provides the name of the vaccine, batch number and the date the vaccine was given.