Roll out has begun for coronavirus vaccinations for at risk 5-11 year olds

Children aged 5 to 11 who are at greater risk from coronavirus should be invited for their coronavirus vaccination soon. This includes some children with a learning disability.

Children aged 5 to 11 who are household contacts of people who have problems with their immune system (called immunosuppressed) will also be invited for vaccine soon.

Children in this age group will be offered 2 smaller doses of the coronavirus vaccine, at least 8 weeks apart. Children with severe immunosuppression may be offered a third dose.

Is my child with a learning disability eligible for the vaccine?

Children with a severe, or profound and multiple learning disability should be invited for a vaccine, along with any children with a learning disability on their GP’s learning disability register. Any child or young person with a learning disability can join the GP learning disability register, however many children and young people are missing: find out more about the register here.

Children with some other health conditions and/or disabilities should also be invited for a vaccine, including Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

For a full list of the conditions that are covered, check pages 23 – 24 of the Green Book from the Joint Committee on Covid Vaccination.

How will my child be invited for a vaccine?

Eligible children and families should be invited to book their vaccine shortly.

We understand you will be invited by letter, email or text.

GPs are playing a leading role in identifying eligible children. The GP learning disability register is one the main tools they will use to find children with a learning disability. Hospital specialists are also supporting to find eligible children.

If you believe your child is eligible, and has not been invited for a vaccine by mid February 2022, we advise you may want to contact your GP and check they are aware of your child’s health conditions and/or learning disability – and that they are on the surgery’s learning disability register.

Can I book an appointment for my child through the national booking system or by calling 119?

No, this is a separate system. Your child must be invited for vaccination after being selected by your GP or hospital specialist. However, see below for information on using walk in centres.

Where will children receive their vaccine?

Most children will get vaccinated at a site run by local GPs, a hospital or a specialist children’s centre. In cases where this isn’t possible, local arrangements should be in place with community pharmacies, vaccination hubs, housebound teams and in some cases at special schools.

Once families have been invited to book, parents or guardians can also take their child to a walk-in appointment, however not every site can vaccinate children and young people. You can use the online walk-in site finder from NHS England to make sure you choose the right site. If you choose to do this, you will need to remember to take the letter, text or email confirming your child’s eligibility for the vaccine.

How will my child be supported to get their vaccine?

NHS England have told us that vaccination sites have been prepared to allocate more time for vaccinating children, and ensuring that any staff have the appropriate training and safety checks to work with children.

The vaccine can be given by injection only, as there is no nasal spray available at this time.

If your child will require any extra support or reasonable adjustments at their vaccination appointment, just let the team know when you book so they can prepare to meet their needs in advance. Remember, disabled children and their families have the legal right to ask for health services to do things differently if you need them to. 

Need more information or support?

Our Learning Disability Helpline is here for you. You can also get advice and support from Contact’s helpline, see here for more information.