Contact’s Covid-19 vaccine campaign – an update

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Contact’s campaign to ensure shielding and disabled children are prioritised for a Covid vaccine is ongoing.

Last week we again wrote to the government’s committee on vaccines – the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) – and the Vaccines Minister calling for:

  • Shielding and disabled children to be prioritised for a Covid vaccine when one is licensed for under 16s in the UK.
  • Expanded guidance on which children can get unlicensed jabs.
  • A process to be outlined to help doctors and families access unlicensed jabs.

This week, Canada and the United States have approved the Pfizer Covid vaccine for use in 12-15-year-olds and will now roll it out to those age groups.

But here, some reports suggest the UK government is undecided about whether to vaccinate young people if case numbers remain low.

Still shielding

Amanda Batten, Chief Executive of Contact, said: “As more lockdown easing was announced yesterday, some families we support are still stuck at home desperately waiting for news of a vaccine. We are concerned that the UK is not committed to vaccinating young people even if one is approved here, but where does that leave clinically vulnerable children, some of whom have been shielding for over 13 months?

“Many don’t have the confidence to emerge from shielding without being vaccinated, so at the very least they should be offered a jab so they can get their lives back.” 

70% want Covid vaccine for their disabled child once licensed in UK

Contact’s research shows that 70% of parents want their clinically vulnerable or disabled child to have a Covid vaccine when it has been through trials and is licensed for use by children. And 10% would like it off-licence right now. Small numbers of those aged 12-15 have already received it off-licence, but often after a lengthy and difficult process.

Covid 19 vaccine – your questions answered.