Covid-19 Vaccination – where are we now and what’s next?
The coronavirus vaccination programme has seen a series of changes and developments recently so here is an update with the essentials for parent carers and children and young people, including vaccination for children and booster shots for carers.
Is it too late if I didn’t take up vaccination when I was offered it?
No. If you or someone you care for missed or decided against getting vaccinated at the time your group was invited, you are still allowed to book in for it at any time. Adults can book online https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/
Under 18s can only have the Pfizer vaccine so they can’t use the national booking service. Look here for information from the Sussex vaccination programme instead about how to to arrange and appointment or find a walk in session for 16 and up https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/how-do-i-get-my-jab/
Which 12 to 15 year olds are eligible for vaccination and where?
All 12 to 15 year olds are now being offered a single dose of Pfizer vaccine between now and half term. This will happen at school in a similar way to other school vaccination programmes. If your child is not currently attending school or is home educated, they should also be invited and you will have the arrangements explained to you.
12 to 15 year olds who are more at risk if they catch Covid-19 are entitled to two doses of Pfizer vaccine. A first group of these young people should all have already been invited and had their first dose, but the government extended the range of children in this group at the start of September so more invitations should be going out soon.
The list now includes children with autism and a wider range of medical conditions including type 1 diabetes, cardiac and liver conditions and poorly controlled asthma. To get a full list read the NHS guidance (called “the Green Book”) about which children are now in this group. Scroll to page 19 of the Green Book to find the information about children Greenbook COVID-19 chapter 14a (publishing.service.gov.uk)
If you think your child should be invited and you have not heard yet, contact your GP, as it is GPs who are responsible for drawing up the lists of who is eligible based on their records. Children in the clinically vulnerable group are likely to be invited to have their vaccine in a specialist CEV clinic run by the local teams who are set up to provide a high level of specialist support, e.g. Brighton Racecourse. They should be able to offer special arrangements to he handle the experience successfully. This would be for first doses and the second dose 8-12 weeks later.
There is more information about the Sussex vaccination programme for children and young people here https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/how-do-i-get-my-jab/vaccinations-for-children-and-young-people-aged-12-to-17/
What about 16 and 17 year olds?
Young people age 16 and 17 who are more at risk from coronavirus should have been offered vaccination some time ago now. They are entitled to two doses initially and will be part of the booster programme. All other 16 to 17 year olds can get a single dose now. Find out how to book or use a walk in clinic here https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/how-do-i-get-my-jab/vaccinations-for-children-and-young-people-aged-12-to-17/#1617
What about under 12s?
At the moment there is no vaccine approved for children under 12. Until more research has been done about the safety of coronavirus vaccines for younger children, no one under 12 will not be offered the vaccine.
Who is going to get a booster and when?
The government has announced that there will be a national programme of booster shots starting very soon. Boosters will be offered to high priority groups. This means care home residents, health and social care workers, people aged over 50, those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe Covid-19, adult carers, and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals. As before, there will be a roll out starting with the most at risk, such as the very elderly, and the NHS will let people know when they are eligible.
The government has confirmed that unpaid carers are a priority for boosters. We have not had details yet about how carers will be identified this time. But it is likely that lists of registered carers will again be used so we are continuing to encourage parent carers to register with your GP.
Also registering with a local carers’ organisation means you can get information and support when you need it most. You can also be kept up to date with plans for carers’ vaccinations in the booster programme.
Parent carers with children under the age of 25 across Sussex can register with Amaze at https://amazesussex.org.uk/register-as-a-parent-carer/ or you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01273 772289. If you care for an adult over 18 you might opt to register with our partners:
In East Sussex: Care for the Carers/ 01323 738 390 / email@example.com
In Brighton & Hove: The Carers Centre for Brighton and Hove. Register via Carers Hub or call 01273 977 000 for more information.
Adults with learning disabilities will be in a priority group for boosters too. They are likely to use GP’s Learning Disability Registers again to invite this group so it continues to be important to make sure young people with LDs get on this register. Read more about how to check whether you are on the Learning Disability Register or how to join it here. Or you can download this guide to the Learning Disability Register.
Useful resources to help vaccination go well for your child or young person
Having a Vaccine at the Race Course Photo Story may be useful to help prepare your child or young person even if you are going to a different vaccination centre
Vaccination video from Sussex health care – it features a GP and a woman with a learning disability going for her jab
Guidance for vaccination teams about the sort of reasonable adjustments they should offer eople with learning disabilities
Amaze, PaCC and ESPCF tip sheet for vaccination centre staff that you can take to your appointment.
Mencap easy read information about Covid-19 and vaccination on their coronavirus information page.