NHS England has begun inviting families with five- and six-year-olds to book their children’s Covid vaccine in line with the most recent JCVI advice.
It comes after the Government in February accepted the Committee’s recommendation to extend the vaccine programme to children.
NHS England said the majority of vaccinations for the age group will take place at local vaccination centres or community pharmacies outside of school hours.
It added that 33,500 five-to-11-year-olds are currently booked in for their dose.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the programme, said: ‘Local vaccine sites are making it as easy as possible for families and allowing for longer appointment times so that families can discuss their decisions, and make sure it is a less daunting experience for youngsters.’
Maggie Throup, minister for health, said: ‘Although children without underlying health conditions are at low risk of serious illness from Covid, and the priority remains for the NHS to offer vaccines and spring boosters to adults and vulnerable young people, getting children vaccinated will help protect them.’
The JCVI has advised that all children aged between five to 11 will be offered two doses with an interval of at least 12 weeks between doses – or eight weeks for children who have medical conditions that put them at increased risk from Covid, or who live with someone with a weakened immune system.
Last week, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the Moderna Covid vaccine for use in children aged six to 11.