Covid-19 vaccination

Covid-19 vaccines for under 18s

Anyone over 5 years old can now get two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for free.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is currently the only vaccine that has been approved for people under 18 years old.

Most children will be offered a second dose 12 weeks after their first vaccine. Children who are considered to be high risk and will receive their second dose 8 weeks after their first include those with:

  • severe neuro disabilities
  • immunosuppression – those whose immune systems don’t work as well and those who live with someone who is immunosuppressed
  • profound and multiple or severe learning disabilities
  • being on the learning disability register
  • those with Down’s syndrome
  • those with long term serious conditions affecting their body. Their GP will know if they need to have the vaccine

Some children will be offered an autumn booster (from September 2022) if they are at high risk (see above list).

You can book via the NHS website or call 119 to book an appointment at a clinic in Newham.

Some clinics are limited to specific age groups (e.g. 5-11 year olds). Therefore, please check that the clinic offers Pfizer and is offering vaccines for the right age group when booking an appointment or planning to attend a walk in clinic.

If your children are 5-11 years old

5-11 year olds will receive a paediatric dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The paediatric dose is one third of an adult dose, and is specifically formulated for children.

There are no plans to offer vaccinations for this age group in school.

For further information, view frequently asked questions on vaccines for families of 5-11 year olds.

If your children are 12-15 years old

Many children aged 12-15 will have been vaccinated in school, however you can also book an appointment at a vaccine clinic (see the weekly schedule) via the NHS website.

Children will need parental consent to get vaccinated, or will be assessed as ‘Gillick competent’ by a medical professional. See below for more details.

For further information, view our frequently asked questions on vaccines for families of 12-15 year olds.

If your children are 16-17 years old

Children aged 16 and 17 years old can get vaccinated at most pharmacy or vaccine clinics (see the weekly schedule) in Newham. To attend a clinic outside Newham visit the NHS website to find a location.

They do not need to attend with a parent/guardian, but should bring proof of age.

For further information, view our frequently asked questions on vaccines for families of 16-17 year olds.

Frequently asked questions

How long does my child have to wait to get vaccinated if they’ve had COVID-19?
Children have to wait for 12 weeks from the start of symptoms or receiving a positive test result before getting vaccinated.

If your child is at high risk from COVID-19 or lives with someone who has a weakened immune system they should wait for 4 weeks before getting vaccinated.

What if my child misses their school clinic?
If your child misses the vaccination clinic in their school they can get vaccinated in an out of school clinic (see weekly schedule).

Will my child get vaccinated without my permission?
Young people who are deemed ‘competent’ by a medical professional to make decisions about their own health are able to make a choice about vaccines. This is not just about the Covid-19 vaccine it’s been true for a very long time and is known as the Gillick Competency Rule. They will not be able to get their vaccine in school. Children can only get the vaccine in school if their parents have filled out the e-consent form. If you would like to discuss this further, speak to your GP. 

Why are under 16s now getting two vaccines?
The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that there was evidence to allow healthy children to receive a second COVID-19 vaccine, in order to help manage the spread of the virus.

How is the Covid-19 vaccine given?
The Covid-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.