Children from Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, who are aged 5-11-years-old and are most at risk of COVID-19, as well as children in this age group living with an immunosuppressed person, are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination at specialist clinics being put on this school half term.

The clinics, which are being held at Loughborough Hospital and the Peepul Centre in Leicester, have been specially designed for children in the age group. They will have extra support to help young people, including longer appointment times and be led by vaccinators who are experienced in working with children.

The clinic appointments, which can either be booked online or attended on a walk-in basis, are being held at the following dates and times:

Loughborough Hospital, Hospital Way, LE11 5JY

  • Monday 14 February – 12.15pm – 3.15pm
  • Wednesday 16 February – 12.15pm – 3.15pm
  • Friday 18 February – 3.15pm – 7.15pm
  • Sunday 20 February – 8.15am – 11.15am

Peepul Centre, Orchardson Ave, Leicester, LE4 6DP

  • Tuesday 15 February – 3.15pm – 7.15pm
  • Thursday 17 February – 3.15pm – 7.15pm
  • Saturday 19 February – 12.15pm – 3.15pm

Parents or guardians of the child should attend appointments and will also need to produce a letter from a consultant or hospital appointment letter, as evidence of the child’s eligibility.

Children at serious risk from the complications of COVID-19 infection include those with:

  • severe neurodisabilities
  • immunosuppression – those whose immune systems don’t work as well and those who live with someone who is immunosuppressed
  • profound and multiple or severe learning disabilities
  • being on the learning disability register
  • those with Down’s syndrome
  • those with long term serious conditions affecting their body. Your child’s GP will know if they need to have the vaccine.

The vaccine is also recommended for those children living with people who have a weakened immune system to reduce the risk of them passing on the infection.

Some parents may have received an invitation letter, to invite them to make an appointment for their child to get vaccinated.

Helen Thompson, director of families, young people, children’s and learning disability services at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “We encourage parents of eligible children, such as those with long term conditions such as diabetes, serious lung conditions or those with learning disabilities, to consider using these clinics to ensure their children are protected from the virus.

“Our vaccinators are extremely skilled and have lots of experience of working with children, to help to make them feel as comfortable as possible in having the vaccination.”

Children will be given a low-dose version of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which has been deemed both safe and effective for the age group. It is recommended they have two doses, with an interval of eight weeks between the first and second dose.

Though COVID-19 cases in young children are usually mild, they can be severe in children more at risk. Having the protection of the vaccine can also help to prevent transmission to others, including vulnerable adults and family members who children may live with.

Appointments can be booked online via SwiftQ, or those who have eligible children can also walk in without an appointment.

More information about the vaccine for parents and guardians of children aged 5 – 11 at high risk can be found on the website.