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, to help protect against potential future waves of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of children falling seriously ill with the virus.
The NHS has already been vaccinating children aged 5-11 years who are clinical extremely vulnerable (CEV) since January. This group are at higher risk of becoming severely unwell if they catch COVID-19 compared to those in the same age who are not CEV. Eligible children include those with diabetes, immunosuppression, learning disabilities, and other conditions as outlined by the UK Health Security Agency in the Green Book.
Dr Michael Marsh – Medical Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement South West said: “This Easter holiday in the South West is the perfect opportunity to get children vaccinated to protect them from serious illness and effects of COVID-19.
“The vaccine is safe and effective and I’d encourage all parents to read the information and consider booking their child in for a vaccination at the earliest opportunity.”
“Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term and not everyone gets them with most common side effects only lasting a day or two”.
There are several ways to book your child a vaccination appointment:
- You may receive a letter inviting you to book an appointment using the National Booking System website or by calling 119.
- Your GP practice may contact you to book an appointment at a clinic they are holding (please do not contact them, they will contact you).
- You can proactively book an appointment using the National Booking System website, by calling 119 or you can find a dedicated 5-11 walk in clinic using the Grab a Jab website.
If your child falls within the non-at risk cohort they should wait 12 weeks (84 days) from the date that symptoms started, or the date of the positive test result, whichever was earlier, to have their COVID-19 vaccination.
If your child is at high risk from COVID-19, or lives with someone who has a weakened immune system, they should wait 4 weeks (28 days) before receiving their COVID-19 vaccine.
South West vaccinations teams have administered more than 12.9m Covid-19 vaccinations since the programme began in December 2020.