12-15-year-olds are now being offered the COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine is safe and effective for people in this age group.

Healthy young people, who are not deemed high risk, are now being offered two doses of the Pfizer vaccine to help to protect them against COVID-19.

In Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, the main two ways young people will be offered the vaccine are through:

  • The school age immunisation service, who are vaccinating eligible young people at school
  • At specialist clinics for young people.

Why children are being offered a COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 is usually mild in most children, but it can make some children seriously unwell. One dose of a COVID-19 vaccine gives good protection against your child getting seriously ill.

Vaccinating children can also help stop the spread of COVID-19 to other people, including family, friends and loved ones. It will also help to prevent the spread of the virus within schools, therefore helping to reduce disruption to children’s education.

More information about the programme  for parents can be found on gov.uk

WATCH: Dr Wadhwa explains the benefits of getting young people vaccinated:

WATCH: Dr Wadhwa explains  in Hindi the benefits of getting young people vaccinated and explains the side-effects:

 

About COVID-19 vaccinations at school

COVID-19 vaccinations in school will be led by the school age immunisation service (sometimes known as SAIS), until the end of November.

Parents should receive a consent form from their school to fill out before the vaccination session takes place. We encourage parents to discuss the vaccine with their child before filling out the form.

On the vaccination day, trained vaccinators will administer the vaccine. They will be able to discuss any questions or concerns with the young person at their appointment.

After the vaccination, young people will be observed for 15 minutes.

Read our parent Q&A guide to find out more about COVID-19 school vaccinations.

You can also re-watch our parent COVID-19 vaccine Q&A session, with NHS health professionals, on YouTube.

 

About vaccinations at specialist 12-15 clinics

As well as the vaccine being offered at school, 12-15-year-olds can visit specialist clinics to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Clinics are available to book through the National Booking Service.

Most clinics will be held at the Peepul Centre in Leicester or Loughborough Hospital, however other clinics will take place around the county too. They are added weekly, so parents are urged to check back regularly for appointments.

Parents and guardians are advised to attend the vaccination appointments with their children so consent can be obtained on the day.

The clinics are ideal for young people who weren’t able to get vaccinated at a school, who have since changed their mind about being vaccinated or who would feel more comfortable going to a clinic.

Read our press release to find out more.

You can also check the latest vaccine clinics in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland on the Leicester CCG website.

Information for young people

Information for young people is available on the Health for Teens website.

Young people can also watch a webinar (filmed 6.10.21) with health professionals talking about the vaccine.

The is also more information in the COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for eligible children and young people aged 12 to 17 on the gov.uk website.

 

COVID-19 vaccine safety

Millions of children around the world have had a COVID-19 vaccine.

The independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has confirmed the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective for children aged 12 to 15.

This followed an extensive review of the safety, quality and effectiveness of the vaccine in this age group.

 

Side effects

Common side effects

Like all medicines, the COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects, but not everyone gets them.

Most side effects are mild and should only last 1 or 2 days, such as:

  • a sore arm from the injection
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • flu-like symptoms including shivering (chills)

Children should rest and you can give them paracetamol to help make them feel better.

Very rare side effects

There have been extremely rare reports of inflammation of the heart (myocarditis) after COVID-19 vaccination. Most people who had this recovered following rest and simple treatments.

Go to A&E or call 999 if your child has any of these symptoms within a few days of being vaccinated:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart (palpitations)

 

COVID-19 vaccine ingredients

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine does not contain egg or animal products.

 

Young people and children at high risk from COVID-19

Some young people and children aged 12 to 17 are being offered two doses of the vaccine if either:

  • they live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • they have a condition that means they’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19

Conditions that mean they may be at high risk and eligible for two doses are:

  • a severe problem with the brain or nerves, such as cerebral palsy
  • Down’s syndrome
  • severe or multiple learning disabilities (or they’re on the learning disability register)
  • a condition that means they’re more likely to get infections (such as some genetic conditions or types of cancer)

Those who are eligible for two doses of the vaccine will be contacted by a local NHS service such as a GP surgery to arrange their appointments.

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