Autistic children and others aged 12-15 eligible for Covid-19 vaccine under expanded JCVI advice

2 mins read

Friday 3 September 2021

Tags: Covide-19 vaccine

The UK’s vaccine advisory body  – the JCVI – announced today that it has ruled out vaccinating healthy children aged 12-15.

However, they advised that in addition to children aged 12 to 15 with severe neurodisabilities, Down syndrome, immunosuppression or profound and multiple or severe learning disabilities who were given the go-ahead to get vaccinated in July, children with the following conditions should now also be offered the vaccination:

  • Blood cancers
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Chronic neurological disease, including cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy and muscular dystrophy

Children with poorly controlled asthma and less common conditions, often due to congenital or metabolic defects where respiratory infections can result in severe illness, should also be offered COVID-19 vaccination.

For the full list of conditions please see Annex A in the government’s press release.

Following the JCVIs refusal to give the green light to vaccinate healthy 12-15 year olds, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has asked the chief medical officers in the UK’s four nations to consider the vaccination of all 12-15 year olds from a wider perspective such as the effects of Covid on children’s education and pupil absences from school. This is something which the JCVI – made up of vaccine experts – is not qualified to consider.

The government will then look at this advice before making a final decision.

Your child’s doctor is allowed to use clinical judgement to determine eligibility in line with JCVI advice. Even if your child does not meet the criteria, or you are unsure if they are eligible, discuss this with your GP or paediatrician

We will update this news story when we know a more about the roll out to this extended group.