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British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Dear members

Please see updated Guidance from the JCVI

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jcvi-statement-august-2021-covid-19-vaccination-of-children-and-young-people-aged-12-to-17-years

in addition to previous advice

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-of-children-and-young-people-aged-12-to-17-years-jcvi-statement

At this time,

  • the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine is the only vaccine authorised for persons aged 12 to 17 years in the UK
  • JCVI advises that all 16 to 17-year-olds should be offered a first dose of Pfizer-BNT162b2 vaccine. 
  • Persons aged 12 to 15 years with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of severe COVID-19, should be offered 2 doses of Pfizer-BNT162b2 vaccine with an interval of 8 weeks between doses.

This currently includes children with severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression, profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), severe learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register. Details regarding additional person-groups with underlying health conditions to be offered vaccination will be provided as updates in the Green Book.

Children and young people aged 12 years and over who are household contacts of persons (adults or children) who are immunosuppressed should be offered 2 doses of Pfizer-BNT162b2 vaccine.

The rollout of Covid vaccination in England will be led through primary care. The letter notes: “We recognise that not all eligible 12-15 year olds may be identified through the GP record. Therefore, any approach by parents of children at increased risk should be considered and clinical judgement used around eligibility in line with JCVI advice. In addition, trusts may refer 12-15 year olds for a COVID-19 vaccination if they consider them to be eligible”

Letter to primary care –
https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/covid-19-vaccination-programme-actions-for-all-practices-to-support-vaccinating-eligible-12-15-year-olds/

FAQs on Vaccination delivery operations
https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/vaccinating-children-and-young-people-faq

Best wishes

Sue

Dr S Protheroe
BSPGHAN President

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