Covid vaccination opens to all 5-11 year olds

Vaccinations to protect against covid are set to be available to all 5 to 11 year olds in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland from this weekend.

From tomorrow, (Saturday April 2nd) parents will be able to book a jab for their child using the National Booking System and from Monday April 4th selected local walk-in clinics will also be open to this age group.

Previously, covid vaccination for 5 to 11 year olds had been limited to children who are clinically vulnerable or immunosuppressed. However, it is now recommended that the vaccination is offered to all 5-11 year olds, to boost immunity and increase their protection against any future waves of Covid.

Dr Caroline Trevithick, Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Performance and Deputy Chief Executive of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “We are really pleased that vaccination has been extended to the wider group of healthy 5-11 year olds. It will protect them against serious Covid infection and reduce the risk of passing on the infection to their family and others they come into contact with, but there are other benefits too. The vaccine will make it easier for children to avoid putting their lives and education on hold because of further disruption to schools, hobbies and social events due to the virus. For all these reasons we really encourage parents to bring their child to get the vaccine.

“We recognise getting vaccinated might be a strange experience for children so young, but our vaccinators have been provided with additional training, and have a range of distraction techniques available to them to help support your child. Our clinics are also making the environment child-friendly and welcoming for families with young children, such as cartoons to watch on TV, activities like colouring and each child will get a certificate after their vaccination.”

Children aged 5-11 with no other underlying health conditions will be offered two paediatric (child) doses of the vaccine, with at least 12 weeks between doses. A paediatric dose is smaller than doses given to those aged 12 and over. If a child has had Covid the vaccine will give them extra protection, but they will need to wait 12 weeks before getting vaccinated.

Those 5-11 year-olds who are more at risk from the virus can already get two paediatric (child) doses, eight weeks apart, and their GP or hospital specialist should be in touch to arrange this. Some walk-in clinics are also vaccinating clinically vulnerable children.

More information on clinics, locations, times and booking information is available at: https://www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/my-health/coronavirus-advice/coronavirus-vaccine/ .