GP-led vaccine sites signed up to deliver Covid jabs to eligible 5-11s will begin rolling out vaccinations to the cohort this week, NHS England has announced.
It said that around 500,000 vulnerable 5-11-year-olds – including those in a clinical risk group or who live with someone who is immunosuppressed – would become eligible for their first dose.
They will become eligible for a second dose of the paediatric 10-microgram-dose Pfizer vaccine eight weeks after their first – which will ‘initially’ be delivered by PCN- and hospital-led vaccination teams, it added.
NHS England primary care medical director and deputy lead for NHS vaccination programme Dr Nikki Kanani said: ‘We know vaccines give significant protection against severe illness from Covid – including the omicron variant, so it is important that our youngest and most at-risk get protected.
‘The NHS is now vaccinating the most at risk 5-11-year-olds ensuring they get their vital dose of protection.’
NHS England added that local NHS teams are ‘already contacting those who are eligible’ and parents and guardians should ‘wait for the NHS to contact them for when it is their child’s turn’.
Those not delivering vaccines to the cohort were asked to give their commissioner a list of eligible children by 27 January ‘at the latest’.
Previous NHS England guidance on vaccinating the group said:
- The national booking service will not be available to the group ‘until March’ so local booking systems must be used, or walk-ins offered
- Vaccination sites must ‘have processes in place’ to identify 5-11s on arrival so they can be ‘immediately routed to be seen by appropriately trained staff and to receive the correct dose and vaccine’
- They should consider priority queues for the cohort as well as ‘practical solutions’ to ‘separate the pathways’ for different vaccine dosages
- Some children with ‘specific risk factors’ must still be observed for 15 minutes following vaccination, in line with the Green Book
- PCN groupings are eligible for a £10 supplement in addition to the item of service (IoS) fee for jabs administered to eligible children aged 5-11, which will return to £12.58 from tomorrow
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