All five to eleven-year-olds are now eligible to receive a vaccination against covid-19.
Appointments can be booked online or by calling 119.
In February, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that the vaccine be offered to all children aged 5-11, expanding the eligibility from just those in clinically at-risk groups.
The NHS offers children two doses of the Pfizer vaccine twelve weeks apart. Each jab will be a third of the dose given to adults.
Protecting Children against covid
For most children who get covid, it is a mild illness that may need a few days off school. It may be more severe for a small number of children or last longer.
The vaccine will reduce your child’s chances of getting covid, or how serious it is if they do catch it.
Possible Side Effects
As with all vaccines, there is the possibility of side effects. Not everyone will get them, and most will be mild and not last long.
Common side effects include pain or tenderness where the injection was given, tiredness, headache, or other flu-like symptoms. You can treat these with rest and paracetamol (with a dose appropriate for their age).
If these side effects worsen or last longer than a week, you should call NHS 111.
Less common side effects can involve chest pain, shortness of breath or feelings of a fast-beating heart.
Very rare cases of heart inflammation have been recorded – around 1 or 2 cases per million vaccinations given.
As with all vaccines, the benefit of protection against illness outweighs the possible side effects.
Parents, carers or guardians should attend the vaccination appointment with the child. Consent is obtained on the day when you will go through the process with a healthcare professional.
You may want to discuss getting vaccinated with your child, so they understand the benefits and the possibility of side effects. You can find resources and guides for parents of children aged 5-11 online.