At-risk children as young as five can now get Covid vaccine in Bucks

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Nearly 1,600 eligible children will be invited to get their first jab

Children as young as five in Bucks will be invited to get their first dose of the Covid vaccine from this week, if they are in at-risk groups.

Thousands of children aged five to 11 nationally will be invited by the NHS to get their first Covid jab, either because they are in a clinical risk group or because they live with someone who is immuno-suppressed.

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In Bucks, there are just under 1,600 eligible children in this group, which includes those with diabetes, immuno-suppression, learning disabilities and other conditions as outlined by the UK Health Security Agency in the Green Book.

Certain children aged five to 11 are now eligible for the Covid vaccineCertain children aged five to 11 are now eligible for the Covid vaccine
Certain children aged five to 11 are now eligible for the Covid vaccine

Parents and guardians should wait for the NHS to contact them when it is their child’s turn to get the vaccine, with local NHS teams already contacting those who are eligible via letter and text.

Vaccinations for five to 11-year-olds are being delivered initially by participating GP practices and hospital hubs.

GPs may also send a text asking parents and guardians to call their local vaccination centre to book the child's appointment.

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This can be done by calling 07826 922104, open every day from 8am to 8pm.

This line links to qualified nurses who can make sure parents have all the information they need and book the appointment.

When invited, parents and guardians are asked to attend with their children and to read the patient information before arriving for their appointment.

Dr Raj Bajwa, chair of the NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We continue to see how vaccines give significant protection against severe illness from Covid, including the Omicron variant, so it is important that our youngest patients, who are clinically at risk or living with someone who is, get protected against the virus.

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"Without the vaccine, they are at higher risk because of the conditions they have, or they could also bring Covid home to vulnerable parents or family members.”

All eligible children aged five to 11 will be offered two 10-microgram doses of the Pfizer vaccine eight weeks apart – a third of the amount used for adult vaccinations.

However, a child cannot receive any vaccination until four weeks after a positive test for coronavirus.

The latest data shows Covid cases increasing among children aged from two to school Year 6, and cases have increased in school Years 7 to 11.

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The NHS is also reminding parents and guardians that children can continue to get vaccine protection from flu, with millions of reminder texts, letters and emails going out.

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.

In most cases, children's flu vaccinations are given via a quick and painless nasal spray, rather than by injection.

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 if their child has missed it.

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