The COVID-19 vaccine is currently being offered to children aged 12 to 15 as part of a school-based immunisation programme.
The UK Government announced the programme following advice from the UK’s chief medical offers who believe the jab will help reduce the type of disruption to education that was previously seen during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme in secondary schools will therefore provide protection to children who are vaccinated and help to reduce disruption to face to face education this winter.
Eligible children will be offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine and consent will be required from parents.
Parents are being asked to complete the consent form online. The form is available here.
If a child’s online consent form is not completed and they approach the school-aged immunisation team expressing a wish to be vaccinated, the team will endeavour to contact the parent or carer and also assess the child’s ability to give their own consent.
Parents can find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine programme for 12-15 year olds here.
Currently we have been tasked by the UK Government, with offering all children aged 12 – 15 years a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine through the school age immunisation programme. This is delivered by a qualified nurse, who has experience in working with children, via an injection to the upper arm.
All parents have been contacted via their child’s school and provided with a link to an online consent form. The deadline for completing this has now passed, but if you still would like your child to receive the vaccine then please do contact us, on the numbers below.
Just to reassure you that no child will be approached by the team or given a vaccine without a parent or guardian having given consent.
If a child approaches the immunisation team requesting that they are given the vaccine, but we haven’t received parental consent then they will not be offered the vaccine on the day and their parents will be contacted. We shall work with you all as a family to try to find resolution.
This vaccine will be delivered in school in much the same way as other ones that your child might have had. They will be supported by the school staff to attend and will have as little time away from classes as possible.
For any children absent on the vaccination day, there will be catch-up arrangements in place that the immunisation team will offer at a later date.
If a child is unwell on the day, the immunisation team will decide whether to proceed with vaccination or not. All questions on the suitability of the vaccine for individual children should be directed to the immunisation team delivering the vaccinations. For any children who want to be vaccinated but are unable for health or other reasons to have the vaccine on the day, there will be a catch-up programme in place.
If your child has had a confirmed case of COVID-19 recently, then they have to wait 28 days until they can receive the vaccine. If this means that they miss the sessions held in school then we shall contact you individually to offer further appointments to receive the vaccine.
This may be the case for children who under lying health concerns for example, and they do not need a further dose. Please do not complete a consent form and contact the team if you have any concerns. If you have already completed a consent form, we shall be in touch to check with you.
What about those children turning 12 years of age within the school year, after the date of the vaccination session?
The immunisation team will vaccinate all children aged 12 years and over on the day of the school visit. Young people in year 7 who are aged 12 years and have consented will be identified by Immunisation team and vaccinated at the same session, alongside pupils in years 8 onwards.
A follow-up offer will be made to any children who miss the first vaccination in their school. This will help to ensure that the following pupils can access the vaccine:
- those turning 12 years after the session
- those who were absent from school on the day
- those who have recently had a COVID-19 infection
- those who subsequently change their minds or take longer to reach a decision
It is anticipated that this will be delivered outside of school settings to minimise any further disruption to education and other immunisation programmes.
Please contact us via the following telephone numbers, but be aware that the teams are very busy vaccinating at the moment, and will try to return your call on the same day but there may be some delay. Some times your question may require them to seek further specialist advice from our medicines management team for example, so please be patient while they seek the most accurate information for you.
Knowsley Immunisation Team – 0151 676 5141
Government information to support this can be found as follows;