COVID-19 vaccination for children and young people

Page last updated: 14 September 2021

On 22 July 2021, NHS England and Improvement wrote to the system about updated independent Joint Committe on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance in relation to COVID-19 vaccinations for children and young people. 

Below you can find information on which children and young people are currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. 

  • On top of the JCVI recommendation to offer a first dose of vaccine to those aged 16-17 years, the Chief Medical Officers have recommended that all young people aged 12 to 15 can receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A decision on when to offer the second dose to healthy young people is pending further evidence on the safety of a second dose in this age group.
  • During phase 1 of the vaccination roll out, those who were aged 16-64 years with a severe mental illness and/or intellectual disability were invited to be vaccinated as part of Cohort 6 (those people at a higher clinical risk). You can read more about the vaccination of this group on our  Operational guidance for adults (16-64 yrs) with a Severe Mental Illness and Intellectual Disability page.
  • The JCVI has since advised that "persons aged 12-15 years with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of severe COVID-19 should be offered two doses of Pfizer-BNT162b2 vaccine with an interval of eight weeks between doses"
  • The Green Book has a full list of who is eligible, but includes those with:
    • severe neuro-disabilities
    • Down's Syndrome
    • profound and multiple learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register
  • The JCVI has also advised that children and young people aged 12 years and over who are household contacts of persons (adults or children) who are immunosuppressed should be offered two doses of Pfizer-BNT162b2 vaccine on the understanding that the main benefits from vaccination are related to the potential for indirect protection of their household contact who is immunosuppressed.
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