Clinically at risk 5 to 11-year-olds in Jersey offered Covid vaccine

Credit: PA

Clinically at risk children aged five to 11 in Jersey will now be offered a Covid vaccine.

From today (January 31), parents of children who fit into the category will start to receive letters from the Vaccination Team.

The Joint Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination (JCVI) have agreed to the extension of the programme.

The JCVI has recommended that five to 11-year-olds, who are in a 'clinical at risk group' or who are a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed, should be offered two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, eight weeks apart.

They will be offered a 'pediatric' level dose, which is a smaller to that offered to adults.

The Vaccination Centre will begin to phone parents to confirm if they would like to get their child vaccinated.

Vaccinations will be administered by nurses in the General Hospital, to allow for a more child-friendly environment.

Mont à L’Abbé School will offer vaccination on site for those pupils who are identified as clinically at risk.

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

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

"While exposure to the virus is high among children due to school and nursery settings, the majority of children aged five 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.”

Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “Vaccination is the most crucial line of defence we have against Covid-19 and is the reason that de- escalation of Covid-19 measures has been possible.

“It is important that Islanders continue to stay up to date with their vaccination schedule and get vaccinated when a new dose is offered to them, or when further priority groups become eligible.

Advice on vaccination for other five to 11-year-olds will be issued by the JCVI in the near future following more investigation of further data.

If you are a parent and have not been contacted by Wednesday 2 February, but believe your child should be eligible for vaccination, you can call the Coronavirus Helpline on 0800 735 5566.