How to get the Covid-19 vaccine for your clinically extremely vulnerable child

Wednesday 14 April 2021

Our recent survey found that one in 10 parents wants their disabled child to have an Covid-19 vaccine right now via the unlicensed or off-label route. However, only 3 in 200 were successful so far. 

Some doctors are reluctant to prescribe or administer the Covid vaccine to children ‘off licence’, while some GPs and health managers are being overly strict interpreting Covid vaccine guidance. 

Yvonne Woodford is one of only a small number of parents who finally managed to secure the vaccine for her clinically vulnerable daughter Katherine after a long battle. Yvonne and her husband explored many avenues, including contacting government ministers. 

Yvonne has helpfully pulled together practical advice for families in the same boat who may be facing barriers and blocks to getting their child vaccinated via the unlicensed or off-label route. Click here to read her advice guide.

Yvonne’s advice provides practical tips for families: 

  • Arranging a Specific Patient Directive to enable your child’s doctor to delegate the ‘off licence’ vaccine administration to another clinician. 
  • Working with your GP to secure the vaccine for your child. 
  • Involving the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), vaccination hub in correspondence about getting your child vaccinated.
  • Interpreting the Green Book guidance on Covid vaccinations for children.
  • Understanding which vaccine their child should have.

Yvonne says families should try everything: “We tried so many angles that we are not 100% sure what actually worked for us. We think it was when we put together an email chain, including the head of our CCG and the person running the CCGs vaccination centre, stating that we effectively had a Patient Specific Directive and asking what if anything else was required.” 

What Contact is doing

Contact has written to the JCVI asking for clarity on the vaccine roll for high-risk children and to issue clear guidance and a process through which children can get off-label use of a Covid vaccine.

You can read our answers to frequently asked questions about Covid vaccines.