For decades, vaccinations have protected our children and young people from potentially serious diseases, including measles, flu, meningitis and mumps.
By the time they leave school, a child will typically have been offered vaccinations against 18 different diseases or infections – the COVID-19 vaccine is one more vaccine that children will soon be able to have to protect them from illness.
We all want to get back to normal – we want our children to go to school, do the things they love and catch up on lost time spent time with family and friends. But COVID-19 is still active and causing some children to miss out on their education and things they enjoy.
The JCVI recommends that 5-11 year olds be offered the vaccine, which has been approved by the UK’s medicines regulator, to boost immunity and increase their protection against any future waves of COVID-19. The NHS wants to support families to make an informed choice, and to make things convenient and child-friendly for those who do decide to get it.
The COVID-19 vaccine is already making a big difference to help protect us all. The vaccine does not remove the virus, but research and experience in countries around the world shows it can prevent the worst effects of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of infection to your child and those around them.
You can get your child vaccinated at a site and time convenient for you– at vaccination centres, pharmacies and GPs offering jabs for this age group. You can view these sites and make an appointment through the National Booking Service or by calling 119.
Some walk-in sites are also available to vaccinate this age group and older siblings, or other family members, can be vaccinated together at the same time. Simply check the walk-in finder website before attending to make sure they can vaccinate your child.
Children aged 5-11 with no other underlying health conditions will be offered two paediatric (child) doses of the vaccine, with at least 12 weeks between doses. A paediatric dose is smaller than doses given to those aged 12 and over.
If a child has had COVID-19 they will still get extra protection from the vaccine, but they will need to wait 12 weeks before getting vaccinated.
Those 5-11 year-olds who are more at risk from the virus can already get two paediatric (child) doses, eight weeks apart, and their GP or hospital specialist should be in touch to arrange this.