‘Our nightmare will finally end’: Families react as ministers agree to vaccinate high-risk 5-11-year-olds

2 mins read

Wednesday 22 December 2021

Tags: covid, vaccination

Parent carers are breathing a huge sigh of relief as government ministers agree to offer the Covid vaccine to clinically vulnerable children aged 5-11 in the UK.

Earlier today, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended administering the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid jab to high-risk 5-11-year-olds after the medicines regulator approved its use in that age group based on robust safety data. Eligible children will get two 10mg doses (one-third of the dosage used for adults) eight weeks apart.

Ministers in England and Wales have accepted the JCVI’s advice. Those in Scotland and Northern Ireland are expected to follow suit shortly.

Further advice regarding vaccination for other 5- to 11-year-olds will be issued “in due course” following consideration of additional data relevant to this age group and on the Omicron variant more broadly.

‘I cried hysterical tears of joy’

Families took to social media to celebrate the news after a long and arduous 22 months shielding at home to protect their highly vulnerable children.

“I cried hysterical tears of joy when I read this. Our lives have been a living hell for almost two years. My children should not have to even consider their mortality or fate every single day,” one parent said. “I can’t stop crying. These last two years have been so hard on us all. Thank you a million times over. I’m actually pinching myself here. What a monumental decision. A complete game-changer for my two youngest boys.”

Another added: “Thank you so much to you all at Contact for fighting for this. Felt like you were the only one who heard us. Our nightmare might finally come to an end.”

“I feel so relieved,” a third parent commented. “Life has been so hard since February 2020. I feel so teary about it. Thank you for helping to push the conversation.”

Contact is hugely grateful to everyone who shared our petition and we are delighted that ministers have listened to our campaign.

And in another major update today, the JCVI recommended extending the Covid booster vaccine programme to include all 16-17-year-olds and children aged 12-15 who are part of a clinical risk group or live with someone who is immunosuppressed.

For more information on the Covid vaccine for children 5-11, take a look at our FAQs.