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Children and young people

Children and young people aged 12 to 17 years, who have recently tested positive for coronavirus, should wait 12 weeks after the date they were tested to get the vaccine. However, if you're aged 5 to 17 and at increased risk, you can have your coronavirus vaccine from 4 weeks after coronavirus infection.

For COVID-19 vaccine information leaflets for children and young people please click here (opens in new tab).

Vaccinating children and young people aged 12 to 17 years

All children and young people aged 12 to 17 will be offered two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The second dose will be offered from 12 weeks after the first dose. For more information about requesting your vaccine, please click here (opens in new tab).

Some children and young people aged 12 to 17 years are also eligible for a booster dose.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends that the booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine is offered to:

  • everyone aged 16 years or over
  • people aged 12 years and over with a severely weakened immune system who have had a third primary dose (opens in new tab) 
  • children and young people aged 12 to 15 years who are at increased risk from coronavirus due to underlying health conditions 
  • children and young people aged 12 to 15 years who live with someone with a weakened immune system

For COVID-19 vaccine information leaflets for children and young people please click here (opens in new tab).

Vaccinating children and young people aged 5 to 11 years at greater risk from COVID-19 infection

We are preparing to invite at-risk children aged 5-11 following recommendations made by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) (opens in new tab) and approval of a child-specific Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) (opens in new tab).

The JCVI  has recommended that children aged 5 to 11 who are in an “at-risk” group or are the household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed should be offered two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, eight weeks apart. The minimum interval between any vaccine dose and COVID-19 infection should be four weeks.

What do I need to do?

JVCI definition of an 5 to 11 year old at risk individual 

Chronic respiratory disease
Including those with poorly controlled asthma that requires continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission, cystic fibrosis, ciliary dyskinesias and bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Chronic heart conditions
Haemodynamically significant congenital and acquired heart disease, or less severe heart disease with other co-morbidity. This includes:

  • single ventricle patients or those palliated with a Fontan (Total Cavopulmonary Connection) circulation
  • those with chronic cyanosis (oxygen saturations <85% persistently)
  • patients with cardiomyopathy requiring medication
  • patients with congenital heart disease on medication to improve heart function
  • patients with pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs) requiring medication

Chronic conditions of the kidney, liver or digestive system
Including those associated with congenital malformations of the organs,
metabolic disorders and neoplasms, and conditions such as severe gastro oesophageal reflux that may predispose to respiratory infection

Chronic neurological disease
This includes those with

  • neuro-disability and/or neuromuscular disease including cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy and muscular dystrophy
  • hereditary and degenerative disease of the nervous system or muscles, other conditions associated with hypoventilation
  • severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), Down’s syndrome, those on the learning disability register
  • neoplasm of the brain

Endocrine disorders
Including diabetes mellitus, Addison’s and hypopituitary syndrome

Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment, including:

  • those undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, solid organ transplant recipients, bone marrow or stem cell transplant recipients
  • genetic disorders affecting the immune system (e.g. deficiencies of IRAK-4 or NEMO, complement disorder, SCID)
  • those with haematological malignancy, including leukaemia and lymphoma
  • those receiving immunosuppressive or immunomodulating biological therapy
  • those treated with or likely to be treated with high or moderate dose corticosteroids
  • those receiving any dose of non-biological oral immune modulating drugs e.g. methotrexate, azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine or mycophenolate
  • those with auto-immune diseases who may require long term immunosuppressive treatments

Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
Including hereditary spherocytosis, homozygous sickle cell disease and thalassemia major

Serious genetic abnormalities that affect a number of systems
Including mitochondrial disease and chromosomal abnormalities

All stages (first, second and third trimesters)