Parents and guardians of clinically vulnerable children aged 5 – 11 are now able to register their child for the vaccine.
Last month, following advice from the UK’s Joint Commission on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the Island’s vaccination programme announced that young children aged 5 – 11 with the following conditions should be offered two doses of the vaccine:
- severe neurodisabilities
- immunosuppression – those whose immune systems don’t work as well
- 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.
In addition, the vaccine is also being offered to children in this age group who aren’t themselves vulnerable but who live with someone who is immunosuppressed and therefore for whom continued and prolonged close contact is unavoidable.
Lawrie Hooper MHK, Minister for Health and Social Care commented:
‘Opening up the vaccine to this age group continues the approach of offering those at higher risk of COVID increased protection against the virus.
‘Even though COVID-19 in children is often milder than in adults, there’s still the risk of hospitalisation for those more susceptible to COVID. The vaccine will help the immune system against serious illness and possible long-term effects from COVID-19.’
The Minister added:
‘A paediatric dose of the Pfizer BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine has been developed, with both real world and trial data showing it is safe and effective for this age group. I encourage parents of any child who meets the eligibility criteria as above to come forward and register their child for the vaccine as soon as possible.’
Parents or guardians of eligible children are asked to register on behalf of their child using the online registration form (not booster booking system) and if this fails, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the child’s information. After registering the team will confirm whether your child is eligible and will provide an appointment.
People are asked to only contact 111 in the last instance if unable to use either of the option mentioned above.
Specific paediatric clinics are currently being planned by the team for early Feb, with the exact dates and times to be confirmed.
The team are also offering walk-in clinics for those aged 12 and over to receive the vaccine, with the full details provided on the website and would continue to encourage anyone who hasn’t yet taken the opportunity to have the vaccine or booster dose that they might be eligible for to come forward.