Who is at higher risk from COVID-19 infection?
Children at serious risk from the complications of COVID-19 infection include those with:
- severe neurodisabilities
- immunosuppression* – those whose immune systems don’t work as well and those who live with someone who is immunosuppressed
- profound and multiple or severe learning disabilities
- being on the learning disability register
- those with Down’s syndrome
- those with long term serious conditions affecting their body.
Your GP will know if they need to have the vaccine The vaccine is also recommended for those children living with people who have a weakened immune system (who are immunosuppressed). This is to reduce the risk of them passing on the infection to their family members. All these children and young people who are aged 5 to 11 years of age should have the COVID-19 vaccinations.
About the vaccine
Children will be offered the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Each vaccine is a third of the dose of vaccine that is given to older children and adults. Your child needs 2 injections of the vaccine usually 8 weeks apart. The vaccine has been tested to make sure it is as safe as possible.
Knowing if your child should have a vaccine
Your GP (family doctor) or specialist should advise you about the COVID-19 vaccinations for your child. Some parents may receive a letter, or a phone call to invite them for to make an appointment for their child to be vaccinated.
How to book your appointment
If you receive an invitation letter, it will explain how to make the appointment for your child. They may be offered it through a local GP practice, another vaccination site, or their specialist in clinics. You will get told where to go for your child’s vaccinations and when.
What to do next
When your child has had their first injection, you should get a record card. You should keep this card and bring it with you when taking your child for their next appointment. This will be in 8 to 12 weeks time. Although the first dose will give them good protection, they will need the second dose to get longer-lasting protection. Keep their card safe and make sure you take your child to get their second injection.