The Covid-19 vaccination programme has been offering vaccinations to children aged five and over since 2021.
Advice has now been received from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that clinically vulnerable children aged 6 months to 4 years (including those who turned 5 on or after 1 June 2023) should be offered a primary Covid-19 vaccine.
Although young children are generally at low risk from Covid-19, infants and young children who have certain underlying medical conditions are more likely to develop a more severe illness from a COVID infection and require an admission to paediatric intensive care.
Those who are in clinical risk groups include children with chronic respiratory disease, chronic heart conditions, chronic conditions of the kidney, liver or digestive system, chronic neurological disease, endocrine disorders, mitochondrial disease and those who have suppressed immune systems because they are having chemotherapy, radiotherapy, have leukaemia or are transplant recipients.
A full list of eligible conditions can be found in Table 4 of chapter 14a of the COVID-19 ‘Green Book’.
Further advice for the parents of children aged six months to 11 years at high risk is also available here COVID-19: a guide for parents of children 6 months to 11 years of age at high risk – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
More information on Covid-19 vaccination can be found at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.
If you have any queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book an Appointment
In Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, we are offering vaccination clinics for young children in Portishead, Nailsea, Knowle, Yate, Easton and Weston-super-Mar. Please email email@example.com to book a first dose appointment.
If you live elsewhere in the South West of England, please go the national NHS website to locate your nearest available clinic and book an appointment.
Frequently asked questions
Is it safe to vaccinate children under 5?
In the United States, over one million children aged 6 months to 4 years have received at least one dose of the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine since June 2022.
What side effects might my child have from the Covid-19 vaccine?
Data from the US showed the most common side effects reported were similar to those seen with other vaccines given in this age group, such as irritability or crying, sleepiness, and fever.
Do I need to bring anything to my child’s appointment?
Please take your child’s personal health record (‘Red Book’) with you to their vaccination appointment. A healthcare professional will record the vaccination in the book and check that your child is up to date with their routine vaccinations. If you have lost it or need a new copy, please ask your local health visitor or health centre.
Do I have to have my child vaccinated?
No. The offer of a vaccine is available if your child has one of the conditions that is listed in the Covid-19 Vaccination Green Book; however, it is your choice whether or not to have them vaccinated.
If you are unsure, please speak with your child’s health care team.
You can find out more about Covid-19 vaccination at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.