Invitations for vaccinations will be sent out from next week.
Following advice from the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs), the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has announced this week that healthy children and young people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine from next week.
The NHS is now working with organisations that provide school-age immunisation services (SAIS) to make sure all healthy children, aged 12 to 15, are sent appointments letters and consent forms offering a first dose of the COVID-19 before October half term. All eligible and consenting children in this cohort will be vaccinated by week commencing 15 November 2021.
Vaccination in schools should begin from Wednesday 22 September, with most school visits completed and children vaccinated before the half-term break.
Parents or guardians of children aged 12-15 will begin to receive letters from their local school-aged immunisation service provider during the next week, with details of when the vaccination will be offered. For most children, this will be through a session at their school.
They will also be asked to provide consent for their child to receive the vaccination, either through an online or a paper form.
Parents or guardians do not need to contact their local GP or other NHS services, nor make an appointment through the National Booking Service. SAIS providers will put in place processes to exclude children that have already received a first dose under previous JCVI advice.
At this time, the Chief Medical Officers advise that 12-15 year olds should be offered a first dose only, which will be of the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine, the only vaccine currently authorised for those aged 12-15.
The recommendation for those aged 12-15 at greater risk of serious COVID-19, or who are household contacts of severely immunosuppressed individuals, will be offered two doses. Those that have specific immunosuppressive condition as set out in JCVI guidance should have three doses in their primary schedule.
The vaccine is safe, quick and effective. It does not give people the COVID-19 virus and does not contain any animal products.
Children do not need to be registered with a GP or have an NHS number to be vaccinated.
This year, the school aged flu vaccine has also been extended so that as well as children in primary school and year 7, it will now be offered to those in years 8 to 11. So most secondary school aged children will be eligible for both flu and COVID-19 vaccinations this winter, to protect themselves and those around them.
We hope that as many as possible will come forward to get both vaccinations when they are invited.
Got a question about the Covid-19 vaccination? Visit our Covid-19 vaccination FAQs webpage, which includes a specific section on vaccinations for 12-15 year olds.
Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Programme in Surrey Heartlands.