Covid-19 Vaccination Programme - Vaccinations for 12 to 15 year-olds
Following advice from the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs), the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has announced that healthy children and young people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
Vaccines are our best defence against COVID-19. They help protect young people and those around them. Vaccination makes people less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on.
Getting this vaccine to children in a school setting presents a much greater challenge than other vaccination programmes. The Covid-19 vaccine must be prepared onsite, demanding more time and resources. It requires more registered healthcare professionals, compared with other vaccines where support colleagues can assist.
Our immunisation teams may need to return to the same school setting over multiple days and your child may be offered a different date. By the October half-term break, all children aged 12-15 will have received an offer to get their vaccination. In the next couple of weeks, the NHS will invite parents/carers to book appointments at the mass vaccination centre (Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher) for those children aged 12-15 that missed out on their vaccination in a school setting.
Parent/guardians can visit this website to make an appointment if:
- their child was unwell on the day of vaccination at their school
- their child has since turned 12 after the vaccinations took place their school
- their child is needle phobic and/or has anxieties and they wish to accompany them
- their child is home schooled and/or does not attend a school setting
- they missed the opportunity to consent for their child's vaccination
- they would prefer their child to receive their vaccine at the mass vaccination centre at Sandown Park, Esher
Feeling unsure about the vaccine?
Designed by young people for young people, here you can learn more about the vaccine and get answers to your questions.
Frequently asked questions
A series of FAQs have produced specifically for 12 to 15 year-old vaccinations, visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions webpage for more FAQs relating to the vaccination programme.
Visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Updates page to find out the latest news and updates about the Vaccination Programme in Surrey Heartlands.
Vaccination will be carried out by school-aged immunisation service (SAIS) providers, a group of provider organisations such as NHS community trusts who are contracted in local systems to provide routine immunisation services such as flu.
- Schools will have three main roles, similar to those in other vaccination programmes:
- provide information to their SAIS provider on which children on their roll are eligible for the vaccine.
- share information that the SAIS provider needs parents and children to have.
- provide the space within school, and the time away from the timetable, to enable vaccinations to take place.
Primary care network (PCN) groupings delivering the COVID-19 vaccination enhanced service are the main providers for at-risk children, reflecting the existing relationships that general practice has with these children and their families.
As with all vaccinations, a consent form and information leaflet provided by the SAIS team will be used to seek consent from parents or those with parental responsibility. Parents will also be provided with a contact number for the SAIS team in case of any queries. Consent forms should be returned by the deadline agreed with the team.
Some children may be sufficiently mature to provide their own consent if their parents have not returned a consent form and they express a wish to have a vaccine on the day of the session. Trained professionals in the SAIS team, with expertise in vaccinating children and assessing consent, will speak to the child to assess intelligence, competence and understanding to fully appreciate what's involved in their treatment, to determine appropriateness of administering the vaccine. This will include making every effort to contact the parent to seek their verbal consent and an assessment of the individual child’s capacity to self-consent, where appropriate.
The COVID-19 vaccination consent form for children and young people can be found on the gov.uk website.
Information on school flu consent is available on the Flu vaccination programme section of the gov.uk website.
Children under the age of 12 cannot yet receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 (Comirnaty®) is the only vaccine currently authorised for those aged 12-15. This vaccination is licensed only for children aged 12 and above, so only children who are 12 on or before the date of vaccination will be vaccinated.
A child who is 11 when they receive an appointment/consent form but 12 on the day of their vaccination appointment will be eligible for vaccination.
Alternatives are available for children aged 16-17.75. There are a range of convenient walk-in centres available to them, and they will shortly be able to book using the National Booking System. There will not be any opportunity for these students to be ‘mopped-up’ in this programme.
Covid-19 Vaccination Services in Surrey
Vaccination services are running in a number of community locations.
You can find out more, including details of locations and availability of walk-in vaccination clinics with no appointments required on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Centres webpage. Please note we are currently unable to offer walk-in vaccinations for 12 to 15 year-olds.
Covid-19 Vaccination Resources
For a range of helpful resources, including information in community languages, research, videos and much more, visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Resources webpage.