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Vulnerable children over five offered covid vaccine

Vulnerable children over five offered covid vaccine

Monday 31 January 2022

Vulnerable children over five offered covid vaccine

Monday 31 January 2022

Children aged five to 11 deemed at risk of becoming seriously ill with covid are now being offered the vaccine in Jersey.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation - the team of UK experts whose guidance Jersey follows - says that any children in this age group who are vulnerable or have a vulnerable person in their household can have two smaller doses of the Pfizer jab, eight weeks apart.

The vaccinations will be given in the General Hospital, although children who attend Mont à L’Abbé School will be offered a choice to have their vaccinations at school. 

Letters with more information are being sent to parents and guardians today.

“I would like to reassure parents and Islanders that an extensive assessment of the risks and benefits for at-risk 5 to 11 year olds, including analysis of clinical trial results and real-world data has been carried out,”  Deputy Medical Officer for Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, said.

“The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have carefully considered all the data and support a positive benefit risk for children in this age group.”

He continued: “While exposure to the virus is high among children due to school and nursery settings, the majority of children aged 5 to 11 are at a lower risk of developing serious illness. However, those who have underlying health conditions are at an increased risk, so following the advice from the JCVI and MHRA, I strongly encourage parents to take the time to read through the letter and leaflet that the Vaccination Team are sending and seriously consider getting their child vaccinated.”

Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf added: “With many positive cases stemming from school settings, vaccinating those children who are most vulnerable is important to ensure they are protected against the potential risks associated with catching the virus and to reduce the spread of infection to other children. Keeping up with regular lateral flow testing is also extremely important in supporting schools and protecting face to face teaching. I urge parents to consider getting their child vaccinated if they are eligible and afford them the best protection.”

If a parent is not contacted by Wednesday 2 February but believes their child should be eligible for vaccination, they can call the covid hotline who will be able to confirm eligibility and complete an opt-in form over the phone on 0800 735 5566.

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