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NHS COVID-19 vaccinations start for all 5 – 11 year olds

The NHS in Calderdale will start to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to 5 – 11 year olds this week.

This follows the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) recommendation that all 5-11 year-olds be offered the covid vaccination to boost immunity and increase their protection against any future waves of Covid.

Appointments are available at selected community pharmacies and vaccination centres across Calderdale and can be booked online at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119, free of charge. Some GP vaccination services in Calderdale are also offering appointments for their patients in this age group and will be contacting parents to invite them to make an appointment for their child.

Neil Smurthwaite, Senior Responsible Officer for the NHS Vaccination Programme in Calderdale, said: “We know that Covid cases are still high in some parts of the region and the vaccination has already made a big difference to help protect us all. We’ve already been offering vaccinations to 5-11 year olds who are at the greatest risk from COVID-19 and this is now being expanded to all children.

“Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is much like any other vaccination that children can have to help protect them from illnesses like measles, polio, meningitis, mumps and flu. All our vaccination sites offering the jab to this age group have gone through additional checks and have staff who are experienced in vaccinating children. They will offer a child-friendly environment for families with young children and longer appointment times to help put children at ease.

“We appreciate that families may have questions about getting the vaccine. Experienced health professionals at the vaccination sites will be happy to answer questions and provide any information needed to help people make their decision.”

Children under 12 will be offered two smaller doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with at least 12 weeks between doses. Even if a child has had COVID already, the vaccine will still give them extra protection but they will need to wait 12 weeks before getting vaccinated.

The NHS is still offering first and second doses to other age groups, as well as first boosters for anyone who has not yet had theirs.