All 5 to 11-year-olds to be offered Covid vaccine

Javid accepts JCVI recommendation of 'non-urgent offer' of paediatric dose to all primary-aged pupils

Javid accepts JCVI recommendation of 'non-urgent offer' of paediatric dose to all primary-aged pupils

Covid vaccine

The government will offer a Covid vaccine to all five to 11-year-olds in England from April, Sajid Javid has confirmed.

The health secretary said he had accepted advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation that primary-age pupils should receive a “non-urgent offer” of two doses of a paediatric version of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The vaccine is currently only offered to the most at-risk children in the five to 11 age group.

Javid said children without underlying health conditions were at “low risk of serious illness from Covid-19”, and the “priority” for the NHS was vaccines and boosters for adults and vulnerable young people, and “catch-up” with other childhood immunisation programmes.

“The NHS will prepare to extend this non-urgent offer to all children during April so parents can, if they want, take up the offer to increase protection against potential future waves of Covid-19 as we learn to live with this virus.”

It is not clear whether this round of vaccines will be offered in schools. The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England said they would “advise on their plans for operationalising the latest JCVI recommendations in due course”.

Parents are “urged not to contact the NHS until further details have been set out”.

Covid vaccine ‘should not displace’ other jabs

But the JCVI said its recommendation “should not displace the delivery of other non-Covid-19 childhood vaccinations, or any other part of the Covid-19 vaccination programme”.

Uptake of some non-Covid childhood vaccination programmes, such as MMR and HPV vaccinations, have been “affected by the pandemic”, the JCVI warned, and the rollout of vaccines to younger children “should not impact the recovery of these programmes”.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of COVID-19 immunisation on the JCVI, said the committee had “carefully considered the potential direct health impacts of vaccination and potential indirect educational impacts”.

“The main purpose of offering vaccination to 5-11 year olds is to increase their protection against severe illness in advance of a potential future wave of Covid-19.”

More from this theme


Reception pupils falling behind after pandemic, warns EEF

Experts warn of 'particularly concerning' drop in early years development

James Carr

Covid inquiry chair wants to investigate impact on children

The UK’s public Covid inquiry chair wants to expand her remit to investigate how children and young people were...

Samantha Booth

Half of pupils kept wearing masks after January guidance change

Most secondary pupils felt face coverings should be mandatory

Freddie Whittaker

‘Sorry if I caused offence’, says MP who claimed teachers broke lockdown rules

In a letter to heads, Michael Fabricant admits 'error' in implying lockdown drinks were 'general practice' among school staff

Freddie Whittaker

SATs: No ‘special consideration’ for Covid disruption

Special consideration will not apply when a key stage 2 pupil 'has been affected by illness or other issues...

James Carr
Covid, Exams

Heads plan Covid isolation rooms so symptomatic kids can take exams

‘Ambiguous’ guidance leaves leaders playing Covid guessing game as tests return

James Carr

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.