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Children encouraged to get COVID-19 jab this half term

19/10/2022

This article is from 19 October 2022. Guidance could change in time.

Parents are being urged to get their children aged five to 11 vaccinated against COVID-19 during the half-term school holiday.

This includes:

  • all children aged five (on or before 31 August 2022) and above who are eligible for a first and second dose of the vaccine (these children will receive smaller paediatric doses of the vaccine than older children and adults – see below for more information about the vaccine for children*

Children who turned five on or after 1 September 2022 can only get a first and second dose of the vaccine if they are: 

  • at high risk due to a health condition or because of a weakened immune system
  • living with someone who has a weakened immune system

How to book

Parents can book an appointment for their child via the online National Booking Service or by calling 119 for dedicated children's clinics at three mass vaccination centres:

  • The Kassam Stadium, Oxford
  • Broad Street Mall, Reading
  • The Guttmann Centre, Stoke Mandeville

Parents are advised that other appointments will become available on the National Booking Service or by calling 119, so they should keep checking if they prefer to go to a clinic closer to home.

Dr Ed Capo-Bianco, Urgent Care Clinical Lead at Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board, and a local GP, said: "There is still time to get your child vaccinated against COVID-19. The school holiday offers the perfect opportunity for parents to get their children protected by booking an appointment online.

"One dose of the COVID-19 vaccine gives good protection against your child getting seriously ill. But two doses gives stronger and longer-lasting protection. Vaccinating children can also help stop the spread of COVID-19 to other people, including within schools."

*Further information on the COVID-19 vaccine for children, including details on how to get the vaccine and how long to wait between first and second doses, can be found on the NHS website.

Some children aged 5 and over who are at risk from the condition or have a weakened immune (or live with someone with a weakened immune system) might be eligible to receive a booster COVID-19 vaccine this autumn. Visit the NHS website for more information.

The NHS wants to support parents to make an informed choice with more information available on the gov.uk website.

About the dose for children:

  • Children will be given a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for their COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Children aged 5 to 11 (or 12 if they are in school Year 7) will be given smaller doses than older children and adults.