NHS vaccination teams across Derbyshire have begun to vaccinate children aged between 5 and 11 who are most at risk of Covid-19.
Children aged 5 -11 who are in a clinical risk group or who live with someone who is immunosuppressed will be able to get the first dose of the covid vaccine in line with advice set out by the government's medical experts.
Derbyshire has an estimated 4,500 eligible children in this cohort, and 15 sites are currently able to vaccinate across the city and county. Each site must meet strict requirements for the safety of these younger patients, as well as being trained in the different processes used for vaccinating young children.
Eligible children include those with diabetes, immunosuppression, learning disabilities, and other conditions as outlined by the UK Health Security Agency in the Green Book.
Parents and guardians should wait for the NHS to contact them when it is their child’s turn to get the life-saving vaccine, with local NHS teams already contacting those who are eligible.
GP-led teams have been identifying eligible children ahead of vaccinations, helping to get jabs into arms as quickly as possible.
All eligible 5-11 year olds will be offered two 10 microgram doses of the Pfizer vaccine eight weeks apart. This is a third of the amount used for adult vaccinations.
Since the biggest and fastest vaccination rollout in NHS history expanded to children and young people, the NHS has already delivered over 3.5 million vaccinations to people aged 12-17, including over 2.4 million first doses.
And just two weeks after the expansion of the booster to all 16 and 17 year olds, over half of eligible young people in this age group have already received their top-up protection.
The NHS is reminding parents and guardians that their children can continue to get protection from flu with millions of reminder texts, letters and emails going out next week.
GP and Executive Medical Director of NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Steve Lloyd, said: “We know vaccines give significant protection against severe illness from Covid – including the Omicron variant – so it is important that our youngest and most at-risk get protected.
“The NHS here in Derbyshire is now vaccinating the most at risk 5-11 year olds ensuring they get their vital dose of protection.
“Thousands of young people are still getting protected every day, with millions vaccinated so far, and we are asking parents not to delay coming forward. As soon as the NHS contacts you, please come forward so the NHS can protect young people against the virus.”
More children than ever are eligible for a free flu vaccine this winter, including all two- and three-year-olds and all pupils from reception age to school leavers, to drive up protection from the virus.
Young people aged four to 16 will have been offered the flu vaccination through their school, but parents can phone 119 to find out how to book a vaccine if they do not have an appointment planned in school already.
In line with national guidance, patient information is sent out to parents and guardians with information on the COVID-19 vaccination.
Parents and guardians are asked to attend with their children and are asked to read the patient information in advance of arriving for their appointment.
Eligible children in this cohort will get a second dose eight weeks after their first dose and can’t receive any vaccination until four weeks after a positive test for coronavirus.