COVID-19 vaccination for children and young people

Page last updated: 15 December 2021

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

  • On 22 December, the JCVI updated its advice for children aged 5 to 11, who are in a clinical risk group or who are a household contact of anyone who is immunosuppressed.
  • The Greenbook lays this out as follows:

Children at higher risk of severe COVID-19

  • Children and young people aged 5 to 11 years who are in recognised risk groups should receive two doses of the paediatric dose (10μg) of Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at an interval of at least eight weeks.

Children aged 5-11 years who are contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

  • Individuals aged 5-11 years who expect to share living accommodation on most days (and therefore for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable) with individuals of any age who are immunosuppressed (defined in tables 3 and 4) should be offered two doses of the paediatric dose (10µg) of Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at an interval of at least eight weeks.

Other children aged 5-11 years

  • A decision on the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years who are not in recognised risk groups is pending further consideration by JCVI.
  • The Chief Medical Officers have recommended that all young people aged 12 to 15 can receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • JCVI recommended that young people who are 16-17 years, who are not in an at risk group, should receive thier first dose of vaccine. A second dose of vaccine is currently offered at an interval of 12 weeks.
  • In late December, the JCVI advised that those aged 16-17 year olds should also be offered a booster. This dose should be given no sooner than 3 months after completion of the primary course.
  • 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
  • In late December, the JCVI advised that booster vaccinations should be offered to 12 to 15 year olds who are in a clinical risk group. This should not be given within three months of completetion of the primary course.
  • 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.
  • In late December, the JCVI advised that 12-15 year olds who are a household contact of someone (of any age) who is immunosuppsrseed should be offered a booster vaccination. This should be given no sooner than 3 months after completion of the primary course.
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