Vaccination Update – end of October
What’s the latest on Covid-19 booster vaccination for carers and vaccination for children and young people?
Vaccination is a personal choice but most families of children with SEND want to know where they stand with vaccination so Amaze continues to try to keep our community up to date. The Sussex Vaccination programme website has the latest details but we have picked out the key information for you. Vaccination is currently on offer as follows:
- 1st doses – everyone aged 12 and above
- 2nd doses – everyone aged 17 and three quarters and above, and children in eligible groups
- Booster vaccines – people in eligible groups at six months from their second dose
Carers and booster vaccination
Booster vaccination is well underway now for over 50s, adults with underlying health conditions and carers. You can get a booster once it is six months since your second jab. People are being sent invitations to book an appointment once it is 182 days (six months and one week) since their second vaccination, but you can also use walk in services once you pass this deadline. You can find information on walk in sessions locally on the Sussex Vaccination site.
In March, carers organisations across Sussex including Amaze helped upload carer details to the Local Authorities to allow these carers to be invited for vaccination through the National Booking Service. Other carers were identified through getting Carers allowance or because they were already registered as a carer with their GP. If you gave us the OK to pass on your details then it is likely that you will have been offered your first jab in late March/April and so your second jab will have been end of June/July. So for those that received the invitation following our data upload, your booster will become due in December or January.
Carers that have received vaccination already will automatically be invited for a booster when it is due. Carers will receive a text or letter from the NHS Call and Recall service, or if their GP knows they are an unpaid carer they will be contacted by their GP.
If you are caring for someone who is also eligible for a booster now, for example an adult with a learning disability or health condition, you can ask to have your appointments at the same time.
Paid carers such as PAs are also eligible for boosters. If they were vaccinated as health and social care workers they should get an invitation. The same six month rule applies.
What if you are a carer but did not get your original vaccination on this basis? We suggest that you tell your GP now that you are a carer and ask for this to be flagged on your records, so you can have a booster if you want this once you hit the six months. If you are over 50 or have an underlying health condition you will be eligible for a booster anyway, but there are no plans yet to offer boosters to other adults under 50.
Flu vaccination is also being offered now to eligible groups including carers, over 50s and those with underlying health conditions. The advice is to take this up when offered and don’t wait to have the Flu and Covid jabs together. For more about flu vaccination and who can get it, see the flu section on the Sussex Vaccination website.
12 to 17s who are more vulnerable
If your child is age 12 to 17 and is in the group seen to be more clinically vulnerable, you should have had an invitation to book a vaccination for them. The list of which children fall into this group was expanded after this process started so some children are only now getting an invitation. If you think your child is in this group but you have not had an invitation for them contact your GP to ask if they have identified them as being in the vulnerable group or not. The list of which children are in this group is quite long. It includes:
- a severe neurological condition/diagnosis, such as cerebral palsy
- Down syndrome
- severe or multiple learning disabilities (or they’re on the learning disability register)
- a condition that means they’re more likely to get infections (such as some genetic conditions or types of cancer)
The full list is set out on page 19 of the “Green Book” which is the place your GP should check to decide.
Children and young people vaccinated as part of this group are eligible for a second dose of vaccine eight to twelve weeks after the first. This is different from other 12 to 17 year olds who are only being offered one dose. You should get invited to book this but make a note so if you don’t hear by 12 weeks after the first dose you can follow this up.
Some children who are immunosuppressed may not mount a full immune response to two doses of the vaccine and are therefore eligible for a third shot, ideally at least 8 weeks after the second jab.
Other 12 to 17 year olds
Children age 12 to 15 have started to be offered vaccination in school, but can now also book via the National Booking Service.
Young people age 16 and 17 can book through the National Booking system or go to a walk in clinic.
Quiet or supportive vaccination appointments
Vaccination centres should make reasonable adjustments for anyone who needs this because of a disability or additional need. Explain what your child or young adult needs when you book. Some vaccination centres have been offering special sessions that are less busy and more supportive, or especially for 12-15s. Ask about these when you book as there should be more arranged soon.
You might find Mike’s story about getting vaccinated useful to look at with your child or young person. It is based on the Brighton Racecourse centre.
This is a easy read guide to help with asking for reasonable adjustments.