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12-15 year olds at increased risk from coronavirus (Covid-19) to be offered a vaccine

On 19 July, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) announced that children at increased risk of serious coronavirus (Covid-19) disease are to be offered a vaccine. This follows their announcement in June that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for use for 12 to 15 year olds. 

Based on scientific advice, vaccination will be offered to 12-15 year olds  with severe neurodisabilities, Down syndrome, immunosuppression, profound and multiple or severe learning disabilities, or those who are on the Learning Disability Register. This is not exactly the same set of children as were originally identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable earlier in the pandemic. The scientific advice on this has changed.

Children and young people aged 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed person (adult or child) will also be offered vaccination.

The government and the NHS are now planning how to roll this out. If your child or young person falls into the new eligible group you should be sent a vaccine invitation from their GP or clinician over the coming weeks. We are being asked not to contact GPs about this now as they will not have answers yet. If you have not heard anything by late August, that would be the moment to contact your child’s GP or consultant to check. We are already talking to the NHS locally and will share more when they can tell us about local arrangements.

There is no plan at present to offer vaccination to anyone else under 18 as their risk of being seriously ill is so low, and there is still no vaccination approved for children under 12. National charity, Contact, continue to lobby the government about extending the eligible group of children.

Read the government’s statement about vaccinating 12-15 year olds who are more vulnerable to coronavirus.

Read more about Covid-19 vaccinations on our Coronavirus and health page

There is a dedicated Sussex CCG email address for vaccination queries: sxccg.vaccineenquiries@nhs.net which you can use if you have a specific question, rather than contact your GP at this busy time.

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