The new guide, which is intended for use by eligible children and young people, explains the COVID-19 vaccination programme in this population
Public Health England had published COVID-19 vaccination—a guide for children and young people. The guide is intended for use by eligible children and young people and their parents and carers, and explains why the NHS is offering COVID-19 vaccination to certain populations of children and young people, and who is eligible to receive the vaccine.
The guidance explains the populations eligible to receive the vaccine. In the UK, COVID-19 vaccination is currently being offered to the following groups of children and young people:
- those aged 12–17 years at increased risk from infection, who will receive two doses 8 weeks apart
- all young people aged 16 and 17 years, who will receive their first dose, with the timing of the second dose to be confirmed.
The guide defines those at greater risk of infection as ‘those who live with severe neurodisabilities, severe learning difficulties, Down’s syndrome, and other serious conditions.’
The guide also provides information on:
- COVID-19, its cause and symtoms, and how it spreads
- what protection the vaccine offers
- common and less common side effects of vaccination.
Information is also provided that debunks myths about COVID-19 vaccination, such as whether it is possible to catch COVID-19 by having the vaccine.
At present, the only vaccine licensed for use in children and young people is the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and the guide explains that this is what eligible children and young people will receive.