Why is my child being offered the COVID-19 vaccination?
For decades, vaccinations have protected our children and young people from potentially serious diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella, flu, polio, tetanus and meningitis.
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 Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation 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 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.
How do I get my child vaccinated?
From Monday 4 April, parents/legal guardians will be able to have their child vaccinated at a site and time convenient for them – at a local vaccination centre, community pharmacy or a GP practice offering vaccinations for this age group.
From Saturday 2 April, parents/guardians can book an appointment through the National Booking Service or by calling 119.
The NHS will write to all parents/guardians of children aged 5-11 about this, over the next month, with more information about the vaccination programme.
Please be aware that only a parent or legal guardian can take their child for a COVID-19 vaccination.
What vaccination will my child be given?
Children aged 5-11 with no other underlying health conditions will be offered two paediatric (child) doses of the Pfizer 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.
Children who have recently tested positive for COVID-19:
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommend:
- Children aged 5 to 11 years will need to wait for 12 weeks following a positive test for COVID-19, before having their first or second COVID-19 vaccination;
- Children aged 5 to 11 years who are at increased risk, should wait 4 weeks (28 days) from a positive test result, before having their vaccine.
There is more information about the COVID-19 vaccination for 5 to 11 year olds available here:
Paper copies of this leaflet are available free to order or download in the following languages:
English, Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional, Cantonese), Estonian, Farsi, French, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Latvian, Lithuanian, Panjabi, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Romany, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish, Twi, Ukrainian, Urdu and Yiddish.
· An English large print version is available to order.
· A British Sign Language video of this leaflet is available to view and download.
· A Braille version of this leaflet is available to order.
For parents and carers who need an Easy Read version:
COVID-19 vaccination and Easy Read guide for parents of children aged 5 to 11 years. This is available to download.