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 Government's Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations recommends that 5-11 year olds be offered the vaccine, which has been approved by the UK’s medicines regulator. The vaccine will reduce the chance of your child becoming unwell from COVID-19 and increase their protection against any future waves. 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.
Children aged 5-11 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.
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.
The NHS will send parents and guardians information on how to make an appointment for their child to be vaccinated. These appointments will be available from April over the Easter holidays and further slots will become available later.
You will be able to 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 will also be 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.