Campaigning for high risk children to get early access to the covid vaccine
We are pleased that the JCVI has listened to the voices of thousands of families with clinically vulnerable children who have felt neglected as they shielded in fear over the past 22 months.
Thank you to everyone who has signed our petition which helped to achieve this.
We are chasing government for more information on when high risk children will be invite for their vaccine.
We are hearing that some proactive GPs are compiling lists of high risk children based on Green Book eligibility and some are starting to book appointments. Even if your GP surgery isn’t doing vaccines they should be able to confirm that your son has been identified as eligible and will get an invite.
This NHS letter confirms this
“Please note all GP practices will be asked to undertake local searches for 5-11 year olds in a clinical risk group and to help identify those who are a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed in January regardless of participation in vaccination.”
This letter also confirms the service specification has been updated which covers GPs/local vaccination centres to vaccinate high risk 5-11 year olds. The letter also says that children can in the interim get vaccinated off label so really no reason for any further delay in our view.
We suggest parents check with their GP that their child has been identified as eligible for a vaccine.
Some parents have suggested asking your GP or clinician to write a letter to say their child is eligible and take this to your local vaccination centre, make sure your doctor includes this sentence in their letter: “In line with current guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) I can confirm that (name of child) is eligible for a covid vaccination immediately.”
How families responded to the news
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.”Parent carer
“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
For more information on the Covid vaccine for children 5-11, take a look at our FAQs.
Campaign win for high risk 12-15 year olds
Priority access was granted for unpaid carers and clinically vulnerable children age 12-15 following our campaign. This campaign benefited more than 500,000 parent carers and children.
Families campaigned tirelessly for this over eight months, speaking out in the media, writing to the JCVI and more than 4000 of you signed our petition. We are proud to have worked alongside families to achieve this campaign win.
Watch Noah, George and their families on BBC Breakfast News or listen to their interview on the Radio 4 Today programme (at 1.45) on why disabled children needed priority access to the vaccine.
Contact repeatedly wrote to the JCVI and government asking for high risk children and unpaid carers to be prioritised for covid vaccine
Read our letter to the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) and their response to our campaign.
What families have told us
Our survey, conducted with 3000 families in March 2021, found:
- 86% of parents with disabled children have been offered a Covid-19 vaccine; 2 in 3 were offered as unpaid carers.
- 70% want their children to have a Covid-19 vaccine when it has been licensed for use in children
- 1 in 10 would like access to a Covid-19 vaccine unlicensed right now, but only 3 in every 200 parents that try have been successful in getting it unlicensed.
Read the full survey findings
“Thank you for all the work Contact does for disabled children – in general, but particularly during Covid times. I listened to your contribution on the Channel 4 News and was really impressed and I am sure that has contributed to making the JVCI come to a decision at last that considers some vulnerable children (12-15) for vaccination. I know you will continue to fight for all the other children like my son who desperately need the vaccine so he can return to school.”Parent quote
Advice about getting a covid vaccine
Please see our vaccine questions and answers page.
Celebrate getting your vaccine
Celebrate getting your covid jab with our Facebook profile picture frame