What Has Been Said
Professor Wei Shen Lim, Covid-19 chair for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation , said in a statement: After carefully considering the latest data, we advise that healthy 16 to 17-year-olds are offered a first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Advice on when to offer the second vaccine dose will come later.
While Covid-19 is typically mild or asymptomatic in most young people, it can be very unpleasant for some and for this particular age group, we expect one dose of the vaccine to provide good protection against severe illness and hospitalisation.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said families should listen to the advice of experts about extending the vaccination programme to children.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to Scotland, he said: I think its very important that everybody in politics listens first to the clinicians and to the medical experts.
I would just urge all families thinking about this across the country to listen to the JCVI, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and immunisation.
They are extremely expert there, theyre amongst the best if not the best in the world, they know whats safe and I think we should listen to them and take our lead from them.
Does The Covid Vaccine Pose Any Risks To My Child And If So What Are They
No vaccine or drug is ever 100% safe.
Research suggests there is a tiny risk of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, which is more common in young people – and particularly younger boys – after a second dose.
The risk is tiny after one vaccine dose and slightly higher after two, with 12 to 34 cases seen for every one million second doses – under-18s are only being given one dose at the moment.
Myocarditis can cause chest pain and a pounding heart, but symptoms usually clear up within days.
There is other evidence that Covid itself can lead to heart problems on very rare occasions.
Health And Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid Said:
It is brilliant to see tens of thousands of young people have already received their vaccine – thank you for helping to further build our wall of defence against COVID-19 across the country.
I have asked the NHS in England to ensure they offer a first dose of the vaccine to everyone aged 16 and 17 by next Monday 23 August, this will make sure everybody has the opportunity to get vital protection before returning to college or sixth form.
Please dont delay – get your jabs as soon as you can so we can continue to safely live with this virus and enjoy our freedoms by giving yourself, your family and your community the protection they need.
Teenagers within three months of turning 18 can book their vaccine appointment online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119. Around 100,000 texts are being sent to those eligible inviting them to book their jabs.
Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 or who live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus are also being contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine by 23 August, ahead of the new school year.
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Booking Your 2nd Dose
You’ll usually need to book a 2nd dose for 8 to 12 weeks after your 1st dose.
- If you book online, you’ll be asked to book appointments for both doses. You can manage your COVID-19 vaccination appointments to view your appointments and rebook if you need to.
- If you’re 18 or over and have your 1st dose at a walk-in vaccination site, you can book your 2nd COVID-19 vaccination appointment online. You’ll need to wait 24 hours after your 1st dose before you can book.
- If you have your 1st dose through your GP surgery, you’ll be contacted when it’s time to book your 2nd dose.
Should I Consider Getting My Child Vaccinated For Covid
Yes. Experts, including those at Johns Hopkins, believe that there are many benefits:
The vaccine helps prevent kids from getting COVID-19: Although COVID-19 in children is sometimes milder than in adults, some kids can get severe lung infections, become very sick and require hospitalization. Children can also have complications such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children that may require intensive care or long-lasting symptoms that affect their health and well-being. The virus can cause death in children, although this is rarer than for adults.
The vaccine helps prevent or reduce the spread of COVID-19: Like adults, children also can transmit the coronavirus to others if theyre infected, even when they have no symptoms. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can protect the child and others, reducing the chance that they transmit the virus to others, including family members and friends who may be more susceptible to severe consequences of the infection.
COVID-19 vaccines help protect the community: Another reason to strongly consider a COVID-19 vaccine for your child is to protect the health of those living and working in your area. Each child or adult infected with the coronavirus can transmit the virus to others in the community.
If this happens some of the people so infected will become quite sick themselves or further spread the virus to others who will become very sick, and maybe even die all because of a preventable infection.
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What Has Been Announced
The Government has confirmed that sixteen-year-olds will be offered the Covid vaccine and will not need the consent of their parents.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that the rollout should be extended to include 16 and 17-year-olds after reviewing the latest data.
Ministers have accepted the recommendation and the NHS is making preparations to start giving first doses to around 1.4 million children.
Children will receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which has been approved for use in the UK for people aged 12 and over.
Officials close to the programme said that under current UK guidance, if a child is able to understand the risks and benefits of any medical treatment then they can legally give consent without their parents say-so.
The child or young persons consent is considered the most appropriate consent, even if a parent disagrees.
It is understood officials are not ruling out vaccinations for otherwise healthy 12 to 15-year-olds but want to look at more information first.
Which Vaccines Against Coronavirus Are Available
In the UK, the government is using three vaccines, Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna, to inoculate people against Covid-19. The Janssen vaccine is expected to become available in the UK later this year.
These vaccines do not contain egg or animal products. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine contains a tiny amount of alcohol, but this is less than in some everyday foods like bread. The vaccines are suitable for people of all faiths. Find out more about the vaccines currently available in the UK:
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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Vaccinating Children
The main argument in favour of vaccinating children is in order to prevent them keeping the virus in circulation long enough for it to transmit back to adults.
Experts fear that unvaccinated children returning to classrooms in September could lead to a boom in cases among people in the age group, just as immunity from jabs dished out to older generations earlier in the year begins to wane.
This could trigger another wave of the virus if left unchecked, with infection levels triggering more hospitalisations and deaths than seen during the summer.
Avoiding long Covid in children
While the risk of serious infection from Covid remains low in most children, scientists are still unsure of the long-term effects the virus may have on them.
Concerns have been raised in particular about the incidence of long Covid the little understood condition when symptoms persist for many more weeks than normal in youngsters.
A study released last night by King’s College London showed fewer than two per cent of children who develop Covid symptoms continue to suffer with them for more than eight weeks.
Just 25 of the 1,734 children studied 0.01 per cent suffered symptoms for longer than a year.
Extremely rare incidences of a rare heart condition have been linked to the Pfizer vaccine in youngsters.
The risk is higher than in 18- to 24-year-olds , 25- to 29-year-olds and people aged 30 and above .
Jabs should be given to other countries
Getting To The Sse Arena Vaccination Centre
If youre travelling to the SSE Arena for your vaccination, free parking is available at Eastside and Northside car parks in Belfast and there is a free shuttle-bus service from the Northside car park.
The G2 Glider services runs every 15 minutes from the city centre or you can get a train to Titanic Quarter station, a short walk from the SSE Arena.
When travelling on public transport, face coverings must be worn and social distancing practices observed.
All transport services are provided within COVID-19 guidance regulations.
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Can I Give My Child Tylenol To Minimize The Side Effects Of The Vaccine
You should not give your child a pain reliever before getting vaccinated. And dont give it right after the shot to ward off side effects either. Wait to see if symptoms develop and the child expresses discomfort before giving acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Studies show that many parents make the mistake of giving children over-the-counter pain relievers right before childhood vaccinations in hopes of reducing side effects. But blunting side effects by pre-medicating can also blunt the effectiveness of the vaccine. If your child develops a headache, body aches or other side effects requiring pain relief, its fine to give them the recommended dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever.
If Ive Been Vaccinated But My Child Hasnt Could I Still Give The Virus To Them
The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live COVID-19 virus, so they cannot cause COVID-19. Rather, getting vaccinated will help protect both you and your children from COVID-19. Studies have shown that vaccinated pregnant and lactating mothers can pass protective immunity on to their young infants across the placenta and in breast milk one more benefit of vaccination.
Though researchers are still learning how well the vaccine can help prevent spread, vaccination is still an important way to limit infecting people who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, like younger children.
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Most Read In Health News
For all those in this age group book in your jab without delay and ensure you, your family and your friends are protected, just in time for the new school year.
NHS medical director of primary care and deputy lead for vaccination programme in England, Dr Nikki Kanani, said: As teenagers prepare to head to university or into their first full-time jobs, it is vital they get protection from coronavirus by getting their vaccine in line with updated guidance.
Whether you are out and about enjoying your summer break before university classes start, or eagerly anticipating the freedoms that being 18 brings, it has never been easier to get your life-saving jab
Sadly for those under 16, Government advisers have not yet advised they get the jab, despite having approval by medicine regulators.
But children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to Covid or who live with adults who are, are also being contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine.
People who are eligible for a vaccine will get a text sent from “NHSvaccine” inviting them to get a dose with a link to the booking site. People can also call 119.
There are thousands of vaccine sites to choose from, including shopping centres, mosques and pharmacies.
Omni’s vaccine queue calculator will estimate how many people are ahead of you in the wait for a jab in the UK.
All you need to do is enter your age and if you have a health condition.
Regina Mother Encourages Parents To Talk About Vaccines With Kids
Regina registered nurse Heather Flynn said she was so excited to book her 17-year-old son a vaccine appointment as soon as he became eligible last week that she overlooked one key thing: She never talked to him about it first.
“I didn’t have a discussion with him. I just told him, ‘I booked your vaccine, you’re going to get it,'” she said. “Probably not the best idea on my part, because he felt cornered.”
Flynn just assumed the teen would be eager to get the COVID-19 vaccine like his older brother and parents but soon discovered that he was vaccine hesitant. Her son didn’t want to talk about his concerns with CBC News, but Flynn said he was anxious about information he gathered on social media and from friends.
“And boy, did I just want to grab him and take him to a vaccine clinic and sit on him. But can I do that? No,” she said.
Flynn is sharing her experience to encourage other parents and public health experts to start “an open conversation” with kids about whether they have concerns or questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.
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Are The Side Effects Any Different For Children Than Adults
Fevers were slightly more common in 12- to 15-year-olds compared to adults, but in general, the side effects reported in children have been similar to those seen in older people. The F.D.A. stated that the most commonly reported side effects in the adolescent clinical trial participants were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain. Side effects typically lasted one to three days. Although pain at the injection site was common after both shots, more adolescents reported side effects after the second dose than after the first dose. In general, younger people tend to have a more powerful immune response than older people because they have more robust immune systems. Its possible that children may experience more side effects than their parents did from the same shot.
Why Did The Government Approve The Vaccine For 12
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation had concluded that the health benefits of vaccinating this age group do outweigh the risks, but it stopped short of recommending it to all children because the margin of benefit is slim.
The committee then asked the UKs four chief medical officers to analyse this from a wider perspective, such as the effects on education and school absence something which the JCVI is not qualified to consider. The vaccine was approved for 12-15 year olds because it will both keep them safe and prevent disruption to their education.
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Does Pfizer’s Full Fda Approval Extend To Kids
The FDA’s approval of Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech, only applies to young people aged 16 to 18. While Pfizer remains the only vaccine maker authorized for use in kids as young as 12 years old, vaccinating that age group is still under emergency use authorization rather than total approval. This is because, along with other factors, full FDA approval requires data on how the vaccine fares six months out, per NPR. Pfizer’s vaccine was only authorized for kids aged 12 to 15 in May.
Tweens And Teens Will Get The Shot Before Little Kids Do
There isnt any finalized research on any of the coronavirus vaccines and kids or teens. All the initial COVID-19 trials were done in adults, says Anne Pham-Huy, a paediatric physician and infectious disease specialist at the Childrens Hospital of Eastern Ontario who sits on the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. As a result, neither of the two vaccines currently available in Canadaone made by Pfizer-BioNTech, the other by Modernaare authorized for use on children.
The next step for the vaccines is to test adolescents. Pfizer-BioNTech will likely be first it has said it could be authorized for use in teens before July, 2021. The company has already begun testing teens from 12 to 15 years old in the U.S., recruiting 2,259 teenage trial participants, and randomly giving half the vaccine and the other half a placebo. Its now waiting to see if they develop side effects, and how many in each group get sick from the disease. That process should take at least two months, because thats how long regulators, like Health Canada, require to see if any side effects appearthough Pfizer-BioNTech will continue to follow participants for two years, and Health Canada collects reports of any adverse events from vaccines as well.
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Where Can My Child Get The Vaccine
At Boston Childrens, were vaccinating eligible patients against COVID-19. It is possible that there will be sites closer to home that offer the vaccine, too. You can search for vaccines near you on the vaccine.gov website.
While we are eager to be a vaccine resource, we encourage you to take advantage of any opportunity to schedule a vaccination appointment through state and local health care organizations and agencies by visiting mass.gov/vaccine.
Because every state is a little different, we encourage Boston Childrens families outside Massachusetts to get vaccinated in your home state as soon as you are eligible, instead of waiting for your child to receive their vaccine at Boston Childrens.