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Vaccine update for immunosuppressed 12 – 15 year olds and siblings

The JCVI is today advising that children at increased risk of serious COVID-19 disease are offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. That includes children aged 12 to 15 who are immunosuppressed.

The JCVI also recommends that children and young people aged 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed person should be offered the vaccine. This is to indirectly protect their immunosuppressed household contacts, who are at higher risk of serious disease from COVID-19 and may not generate a full immune response to vaccination.

Under existing advice, young people aged 16 to 17 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 should have already been offered vaccination.

The announcement means that a number of our young people who have not yet been eligible for vaccination will now be able to receive it. We are however awaiting further clarification on the criteria in relation to the level of immunosuppression a child is on to become eligible and we shall make this available as soon as we receive it.

Update 26 July 2021

The Liver Steering Group (BSPGHAN) have issued the advice that the below groups should be offered two doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine:

All patients from 12 years of age onwards who:

  • are on immunosuppression, but 3 months after starting treatment, including patients such as those post liver transplant or with autoimmune liver disease
  • live with clinically extremely vulnerable people in their household
  • are listed for liver transplant

Immunisation against COVID-19 should be booked and undertaken via local primary or secondary health services and the 1st dose should be offered prior to these children returning to school in September.

This advice may change in the future based on updated evidence.

Read more here

There are further clinical trials being undertaken in younger age groups with results due later in the year.

Update 2 August 2021

The Green Book has the latest information on vaccines and vaccination procedures, for vaccine preventable infectious diseases in the UK. It has now been updated with information about individuals aged 12 years or above on immunosuppression due to disease or treatment as well as individuals aged over 12 years who are contacts of immunosuppressed individuals. See here on page 17 . Please note anyone who will turn 18 within three months can now also be vaccinated. For clarification, speak to your child’s GP and/or medical team.

Update 4 August

JCVI advises that all 16 to 17 year olds (not in an ‘at risk’ group) should be offered a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine This means more young people will be vaccinated in the coming weeks.

Booking vaccinations

*update from Department of Health and Social Care 16 August 2021

Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 or who live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus are being contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine by 23 August, ahead of the new school year.

*Those in Northern Ireland who have a letter can book through this portal (follow the link for details).

Teenagers within three months of turning 18 can book their vaccine appointment online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119. Around 100,000 texts are being sent to those eligible inviting them to book their jabs.
NHS England has launched a new online walk-in site finder to help 16 and 17 year olds locate the nearest available GP-led vaccination site. Further sites will come online over the coming days and weeks.

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