Vaccines for children

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4 August 2021

Which children can get a Covid-19 vaccine?

As of 4 August 2021 England, Wales and Scotland have announced that they will follow the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisations (JCVI) to vaccinate 16 and 17 year olds.

In England 16 and 17 year olds should start receiving the vaccine by 23 August 2021. In England the Government has updated its Green Book guidance with more detailed information about which children aged 12-15 are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine.

It had previously agreed to follow advice from the JCVI to offer the vaccine to children with severe neurodisabilities, Down syndrome, immunosuppression, and severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).

The Green Book has now expanded on these categories:

  • Severe neuro-disability and/or neuromuscular conditions that compromise respiratory function. This includes conditions (such as cerebral palsy, autism and muscular dystrophy) that may affect swallowing and protection of the upper airways, leading to aspiration, and reduce the ability to cough and resulting overall in increased susceptibility to respiratory infections
  • Children with a learning disability, including individuals with Down syndrome, those who are on the¬†GP Learning Disability Register, and those with PMLD or severe learning disabilities
  • Children who are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment, including patients undergoing chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy; solid organ transplant recipients; bone marrow or stem cell transplant recipients; kids with HIV infections at all stages; those with genetic disorders affecting the immune system; children receiving immunosuppressive biological therapy or those treated with systemic steroids for more than a month; and anyone with a history of haematological malignance, including leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, or auto-immune diseases that may require long-term immunosuppressive treatments.

Children aged 12 and over who live with immunosuppressed individuals of any age will also be eligible for a vaccine.