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Covid-19 Primary Care Resources

Covid vaccinations in children

child vaccinations

Children age 12 and over who live with immunosuppressed people and young people age 16 and over are now eligible for vaccination


This information is sourced from the RCPCH, The Green Book ,the BMJ, the MHRA and the JCVI, FutureNHS and NHSE:

Risk of Covid infection in children

Evidence strongly indicates that almost all children and young people are at very low risk from Covid-19

Limited data suggest that children with neurological comorbidities may be at a greater risk of developing severe Covid-19

Current evidence on Vaccinations in Children

In June 2021 the MHRA approved the Pfizer vaccine for 12-15 year olds concluding it was safe and effective following a clinical trial of 1,000 12-15 year olds who received 2 doses. Short-lived side effects including fever were common

Moderna has announced its vaccine is effective in 12- to 18-year-olds after a study saw no cases of Covid-19 in those who had two doses

There are emerging reports of rare but serious adverse events, including myocarditis and pericarditis, following the use of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in younger adults which are being evaluated by the MHRA and JCVI. Data on the incidence of these events in children and young people are currently limited

Children who are now eligible for vaccination

Covid-19 vaccines are not routinely recommended for children under 16 years of age

Children 12 to 15 years of age with severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s syndrome, underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression, and those on the learning disability register are considered at increased risk for serious Covid-19 disease and should be offered vaccination

Children and young people aged 12 years and over who are household contacts of people who are immunosuppressed should be offered vaccination on the understanding that the main benefits are related to the potential for indirect protection of their household contact who is immunosuppressed

Clear information on the potential risks and benefits of vaccination should be provided to the child and those with parental responsibility prior to vaccination

If the Pfizer vaccine is not available, Moderna mRNA vaccine may be used off-license

When and how will eligible children be invited for vaccination?

NHSFutures have produced a communications pack for GPs. Patients should be informed that the NHS is aiming to offer a vaccine to children and young people in eligible groups by the start of the autumn term and that they will be contacted by the NHS before then

Young people aged 16 years and over

As of 5th August 2021 the JCVI advises that all 16–17-year olds should be offered a first dose of Pfizer vaccine

This is in addition to the existing offer of two doses of vaccine to 16–17 year olds who are in ‘at-risk’ groups

Written by Dr Poppy Freeman