Who is eligble for the COVID-19 vaccine?
A full list of who can get vaccinated is available on the NHS website. It includes the following children and young people:
16 and 17 year olds
Young people aged 16 and 17 can now get their COVID-19 vaccination - they can walk-in to a local vaccine site or book through the National Booking System online. All vaccine sites and who can attend are listed on this page. Parental consent will not be required to be vaccinated.
12 to 15 year olds
All 12-15 year olds will be offered one dose of the vaccine.
Parents or guardians of children aged 12 to 15 will receive letters from their child’s school who are offering the COVID-19 vaccine as part of its School Aged Immunisation Service (SAIS) read more information and some frequently asked questions here.
Parents and guardians are also invited to attend a local vaccination centre with their 12-15 year old to get their vaccination outside of school read more information here.
The following are eligible for two doses of the vaccine:
- 12-15-year olds 'at risk' with underlying health conditions specified below:
- severe neuro-disabilities,
- Down’s Syndrome,
- underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression, and
- those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register
- Children aged 12 years and older without underlying medical conditions who are household contacts of individuals (adults or children) who are immunosuppressed.
Frequently asked questions
If your child is in one of the new groups recommended for vaccination by the JCVI, you will be contacted by the NHS before to arrange for your child’s vaccination either in school or at a local vaccination centre.
16 and 17 year olds can walk-in at a local vaccine site - no booking required. If your child is within three months of turning 18, they can also book an appointment via the National Booking Service.
The JCVI has reviewed extensive clinical evidence for the safety of giving the COVID-19 vaccine to children and young people in the eligible groups and have determined it to be safe and effective. The JCVI has determined that the benefit of vaccinating children in these groups outweighs the risks.
The Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine is the only vaccine authorised for those aged 16 and 17¾. At this time, JCVI advises that 16-17 year olds should be offered a first dose only. (alongside the existing offer of two doses of vaccine to 16 to 17 year olds who are in “at risk” groups).
The first dose will provide 80% protection against hospitalisation and protection could be even higher as younger people respond better to vaccines and some will have already had the COVID-19 infection, meaning they will have an even better response to a first dose.
It is anticipated that a second dose will be offered later on, to increase the level of protection and contribute towards longer term protection. This will follow further work on effectiveness and safety in this age group, after which the JCVI will provide further guidance on whether a second vaccine dose should be offered to healthy 16 to 17 year-olds. This is expected to be made before second doses are due at approximately 12 weeks after the first dose.
Young people who are called as part of the 16-17 year old programme and receive their first dose above the age of 17 years and 40 weeks may be scheduled to receive their second dose after an interval of at least eight weeks, as part of the “turning 18 programme”.
There are no current plans to vaccinate children and young people outside of the eligible groups. However, the JCVI is continually reviewing evidence on this matter and will advise the Government if it decides that a change of approach is required.
Everything COVID has been designed by young people for young people - you can learn more about the vaccine, get answers to your questions and when ready, organise your jab locally.
Young people grill a local GP on the vaccine and asks the real questions everyone is asking.
Check out the video from Wolverhampton Youth Centre on their YouTube channel. They talk about how effective the vaccine is, do they really need it and any long-term side effects with Dr Kam Ahmed, local GP from Wolverhampton.
We spoke to some local college students who let us know why they chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
TikTok fun about the vaccine
We commissioned Beatfreeks to work with six young people to dispel myths around the COVID-19 vaccine among their communities. The campaign #GotMyJab helped share positive messages about the vaccine and encourage people to get theirs. Here are three of our favourites:
2 shots, yes please – trending video shows what everyone has been missing
2 shots yes please, make mine a double – you may have seen the videos already. It’s all about promoting why you need both doses of the COVID-19 vaccines for maximum protection so we can all start to return to normal.
There are also shorter 15 second videos about each topic:
Advice to Headteachers, Teachers and Parents
Over the past month, some schools and headteachers have received letters or emails which feature false or misleading information (misinformation) about the safety, efficacy and purpose of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. There have also been reports of leafleting activity outside of school gates.
Only read and download trusted sources of information, here are a few example we recommend you read/download:
- gov.uk guide for children and young people and the vaccine - including who is eligible, the vaccine, side effects and how COVID-19 spreads (or you can download this printable leaflet)
- gov.uk 'What to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination - advice for children and young people (or download this printable leaflet)
- NHS.uk have included lots of information about the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Are you pregnant or might be, or worried about your fertility in the future – read more about the vaccine here.
- Our government issue updates on the coronavirus and the vaccine online too.