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COVID vaccinations expanded to vulnerable under 11s

The NHS vaccination programme will begin to roll out to children aged between 5 and 11 who are most at risk of COVID-19

The NHS vaccination programme will begin to roll out to children aged between 5 and 11 who are most at risk of COVID-19.

Children aged 5 -11 who are in a clinical risk group or who live with someone who is in immunosuppressed will be able to get the first dose of the COVID vaccine. There are around 500,000 eligible children in the latest cohort. Eligible children include those with diabetes, learning disabilities, and other conditions.

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‘We know vaccines give significant protection against severe illness from COVID – including the omicron variant, so it is important that our youngest and most at-risk get protected,’ said GP and deputy lead for NHS vaccination programme Dr Nikki Kanani.

‘The NHS is now vaccinating the most at risk 5-11 year olds ensuring they get their vital dose of protection. Thousands of young people are still getting protected every day with millions vaccinated so far and we are asking parents not to delay coming forward – as soon as the NHS contacts you, please come forward so the NHS can protect their youngest against the virus.’

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Over 850 sites have already signed up to be part of the latest expansion – with vaccinations to 5-11 year olds being delivered initially by GP led vaccination teams and hospital hubs.

All eligible 5-11 year olds will be offered two 10 microgram doses of the Pfizer vaccine eight weeks apart – a third of the amount used for adult vaccinations.

‘I would like parents and guardians to be reassured that no new vaccine for children would have been approved unless the expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness had been met,’ said Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup.

‘I encourage as many as possible to make sure they get their child the jab when contacted – the paediatric vaccine will offer the best possible protection for your child.’