Covid jab bookings open to children aged five to 11
NHS England said parents and carers can arrange appointments for Monday onwards
Bookings will open on Saturday for children aged five to 11 in England to get a Covid-19 vaccine.
Parents and carers can arrange appointments for Monday onwards through the NHS vaccines website or by calling 119 from 7am on Saturday morning.
NHS England said hundreds of sites will offer jabs from Monday, with more coming on stream throughout the week.
Some five million children are eligible for the jab, following on from the success of the campaign to vaccinate vulnerable youngsters with health conditions.
Most new appointments will be at local vaccination centres or community pharmacies outside of school hours, and there will be walk-in clinics available, with timings on the NHS grab a jab website.
NHS England said more appointments will be added throughout the week so anyone unable to get a convenient slot should keep trying.
Children will be offered two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, at least 12 weeks apart, at a third of the normal strength.
Families will be given a vaccination record card with the name of the vaccine, batch number and the date the vaccine was given.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “From today, parents of almost five million five to 11-year-olds can book their little ones in for a vaccine, ensuring they get their first dose of protection and helping to protect against potential future waves of Covid-19.
“Vaccines remain the best defence we have against the virus – my 13-year-old son has had his two vaccinations and I’ll be booking my 10-year-old daughter in for hers at the earliest opportunity, and would encourage all parents to read the NHS information available and consider doing the same.”
Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “From Monday, the NHS will be rolling out the non-urgent offer for Covid vaccines for all children aged five to 11 in England.
“Parents, if they want, can take up the offer for their children to increase protection against Covid as we learn to live with this virus.
“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, as well as to catch up with other childhood immunisation programmes.”