Decision on offering Covid vaccine to vulnerable children urgently needed

Saturday 10 July 2021

Tags: covid, vaccine

With further easing of restrictions, especially in schools, there is a new urgency for clinically vulnerable children to get access to a Covid vaccine.

Watch Sue and Sophie from Nottinghamshire and our Head of Campaigns, Una, on Channel 4 News urging the vaccine committee and government to make a decision on offering all clinically vulnerable children a Covid vaccine as soon as possible.

Every day Contact hears from families of clinically vulnerable children who have been refused a Covid vaccine via the off-label route, despite the UK regulator saying the Pfizer vaccine is safe for children aged 12 and over.

The off-label route remains impossibly difficult for the majority of clinically vulnerable children due to the narrow guidance in the government’s Green Book.

This means thousands of clinical vulnerable children like Sophie have been shielding for 17 months now, unable to go to school or leave their homes.

We keep hearing that guidance to allow children with health conditions access is imminent, but still families wait, made to endure an increasingly desperate situation.

As protective measures are being lifted and cases rise, families have told us they have never felt so unsafe.

Families with clinically vulnerable children have felt forgotten throughout this pandemic, and the UK vaccine programme has forgotten them too

Una Summerson, Head of Campaigns at Contact

It would be irresponsible for the government to go ahead with further easing restrictions on the 19th July without offering all clinical vulnerable children a Covid vaccine first.

Thank you to everyone that has written to the vaccine committee so far. We are hopeful they will recommend very soon that clinically vulnerable children should be offered the Pfizer vaccine. When this happens, the government must act quickly to ensure clinically vulnerable children and those with underlying health conditions get two vaccine doses before the September term.