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FAQs – Parent/Children

  • My child is in one of the eligible groups. How do I arrange his/her vaccination?

    My child is in one of the eligible groups. How do I arrange his/her vaccination?

    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.

    16 and 17 year olds are being contacted directly by letter, followed up by text messages from 20 August.

    If your child is within three months of turning 18, they will be invited directly to book an appointment via the National Booking Service at the appropriate time and may also be invited via local vaccination services.

    There is no need for individuals to approach their GP or other local NHS services before they receive a letter or text. Those age 16 to 17¾ will not be able to use the National Booking Service, although they can find a convenient walk-in site near to where they live at www.nhs.uk/grab-a-jab

  • How do I know the vaccine is safe for my child?

    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.

  • Which type of COVID-19 vaccination should 16-17 year olds be offered?

    Which type of COVID-19 vaccination should 16-17 year olds be offered?

    The Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine is the only vaccine authorised for those aged 16 and 17¾. At this time, JCVI advises that 16-17 year olds should be offered a first dose only. (alongside the existing offer of two doses of vaccine to 16 to 17 year olds who are in “at risk” groups). 

  • What about a second vaccine?

    What about a second vaccine?

    It is anticipated that a second dose will be offered later on, to increase the level of protection and contribute towards longer term protection. This will follow further work on effectiveness and safety in this age group, after which the JCVI will provide further guidance on whether a second vaccine dose should be offered to healthy 16 to 17 year-olds. This is expected to be made before second doses are due at approximately 12 weeks after the first dose. 

    Young people who are called as part of the 16-17 year old programme and receive their first dose above the age of 17 years and 40 weeks may be scheduled to receive their second dose after an interval of at least eight weeks, as part of the “turning 18 programme”.

  • Are any children under 16 eligible for a vaccine?

    Are any children under 16 eligible for a vaccine?

    As well as 16-18 year olds, the following groups of children and young people are also eligible, following previous JCVI advice: 

    12-15-year olds ‘at risk’ with the underlying health conditions specified below: 

    • severe neuro-disabilities,  
    • Down’s Syndrome,  
    • underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression, and  
    • those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register 
    • Children aged 12 years and older without underlying medical conditions who are household contacts of individuals (adults or children) who are immunosuppressed.
  • My child is not in one of the eligible groups. When will they be able to be vaccinated?

    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. 

  • Why is the NHS only vaccinating some children and young people against COVID-19, and not all?

    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.