Children & young people (12-17 years) COVID-19 Vaccination
Vaccinating 12-17 year olds against Covid-19
All young people aged 12 to 17 year-olds are now eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination.
Priority 16-17 year olds – two doses
The following groups of 16 and 17 year olds (who have been eligible for some time as priority groups) will be offered 2 DOSES of the PFIZER vaccine in line with established guidance:
- Those who are health and care workers. People working in CQC-registered care homes (including those aged 16-17) will need to be fully Covid-19 vaccinated with two doses by 11 November 2021, unless they have a medical exemption.
- Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals are described here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19.
- Those who have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality).
- Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.
- Those who share living accommodation on most days (and therefore for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable) with individuals who are immunosuppressed.
- Those who are within three months of their 18th birthday
16-17 year olds – one dose
All 16-17 year-olds not in the above groups will be offered ONE DOSE of the PFIZER vaccine – see exceptions under heading below. One dose of Pfizer reduces hospitalisation from Covid-related illness in this age group by around 80%.
16-17 year olds can now simply turn up at one of the many walk-in vaccination clinics offering the Pfizer vaccine, with no appointment needed. The full list of walk in vaccination clinics across Norfolk and Waveney is here. The right hand column of the list indicates whether each clinic offers the Pfizer vaccine, as recommended for young people.
Vaccinating this group as soon as possible is important, ideally before the autumn / winter. 16-17 year olds will also be invited by the NHS if they do not attend a walk in clinic. Please don’t call your GP surgery / local doctor about this as we need to keep the phone lines free to help patients requiring appointments and urgent medical care. The NHS will contact you.
16-17 year olds do not need parental consent for covid vaccination.
Priority 12-15 year-olds – two doses
Those at increased risk or household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.
Eligible children aged 12-15 (see below) will be offered 2 doses of Pfizer vaccine, which is the only Covid-19 vaccine authorised for children (aged 12 and over) in the UK.
Vaccinating this group as soon as possible is important and they will be contacted directly to be invited for vaccination. Please don’t call your GP surgery / local doctor – the NHS will contact you.
Children aged 12 to 15 who are eligible for two doses of the Pfizer vaccine (with parental consent) are:
- at increased risk of serious illness from COVID infection. This includes children with severe neurodisabilities, Down’s Syndrome, underlying conditions that result in immunosuppression and/or profound and multiple learning disabilities or severe learning disabilities; or
- household contacts of individuals (adults or children) who are immunosuppressed.
There are additional clinical and safeguarding requirements that vaccination sites must meet in order to vaccinate those aged 12-15 and 16-17. Not all of the places currently vaccinating adults will be able to vaccinate children and young people.
12-15 year olds – one dose
From September 2021, all healthy 12-15 year-olds will be offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine through a schools immunisation programme. Parental consent is required for this age group.
Like the flu and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, COVID-19 jabs will be delivered by local school age immunisation services (SAIS) who will work closely with schools to identify all eligible children.
In line with standard practice for vaccinations in schools, consent letters are being sent out to parents and guardians with information on the COVID-19 vaccination.
Families do not need to contact the NHS to arrange their child’s vaccine, schools and providers will be in touch. Please do not contact your GP to request a vaccination. Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust will be working with schools across Norfolk and Waveney to vaccinate 12-15 year olds in schools.
Other countries are already routinely vaccinating children over 12. The US has been doing so from May 2021, as well as some European countries (such as France and Italy) following approval from EU regulators. Other countries vaccinating children aged 12+ include Brazil, Japan, Israel and Hong Kong.
Although COVID-19 is typically mild or asymptomatic in young people, it can be very unpleasant for some and, across the country, we have seen a number of severe cases of the virus in this group. Young people are also at risk of developing Long Covid so it is just as important for them to have the protection of a vaccine.
Please click here to read our Frequently Asked Questions for Young People.
We want to hear from young people aged 12 - 17 years who live in Norfolk and Waveney. We want to know what is important to them about having the vaccine, and what questions they have. Please click here to complete our survey and share it with friends and family.
Further information on the vaccination of eligible children and young people will be available in due course. The latest information will always be uploaded here on our website and shared through our social media channels.