Vaccinating children aged 12 to 15
All children aged 12 to 15 will be offered a 1st dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and parents and guardians will get a letter with information about when the vaccine will be offered. Most children will be given their vaccine at school.
The 12-15 year olds with heart conditions who should be offered two doses of the Pfizer vaccine has been considered within the British Congenital Cardiac Association. Most children with heart conditions do not fall within this group. The BCCA guidelines can be read here.
Some children will be offered two doses of the vaccine if either:
- they live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
- they have a condition that means they’re at high risk from COVID-19
- a severe problem with the brain or nerves, such as cerebral palsy
- Down’s 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)
- 12-15 year olds with “Haemodynamically significant congenital and acquired heart disease, or milder heart disease with other co-morbidity.” Most children with congenital heart disease are not in this category.
NHS England have advised that the risk of harm from contracting Covid-19 is greater than the risk of harm from the vaccine itself. If, however, you have concerns please seek the advice from your child’s cardiologist.
If your child is eligible for two doses of the vaccine, you’ll be contacted by a local NHS service such as their GP surgery to arrange their appointments.
The position regarding consent is as follows:
- Consent will follow existing guidance contained within the Green Book and will be led by the School Age Immunisation Service in line with other school immunisation programmes.
- Schools and providers will seek consent from parents or legal guardians for vaccinating 12-15s, but if the situation arises where a child wants to get the vaccine without parental consent, the child and parent will be invited for a joint discussion with the clinician or healthcare professional, who can make a decision about whether the child is legally competent to make decisions about their healthcare.
- If a child is not competent to give consent for themselves, consent should be sought from a person with parental responsibility.
- School Aged Immunisation Service providers are responsible for school age children so will make provision for children not in regular school.