In line with JCVI guidance on 4 August, the NHS has invited all young people aged 16 and 17 to receive a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
More than 125,000 people in this age group have already had their jab in the two weeks since the NHS was given the green light to extend the life-saving vaccine, with more than 360,000 having received it in total.
Invitations are now landing on the doormats of all in this age group, who can find their nearest centre through the NHS’s ‘grab a jab’ online walk-in finder, with more sites becoming available every day. This will be followed up by text messages, beginning on 20 August.
At this time, JCVI advises that 16-17 year olds should be offered a first dose only, which will be of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. A second dose is expected to be offered later to increase the level of protection and contribute towards longer term protection, following further assurance around effectiveness and safety in this age group.
Those aged 16-17 who are at higher risk of serious COVID-19 continue to be recommended offered two doses of vaccine.
The first dose has been shown to provide 80% protection against hospitalisation. Protection could be even higher as younger people respond better to vaccines and some will already have had the COVID-19 infection, meaning they will have an even better response to a first dose.
People aged 16-17 do not need to contact their local GP or other NHS services before they receive a letter or text with details of how to get the jab. If your child is within three months of turning 18, they will be invited directly to book an appointment via the National Booking Service at the appropriate time and may also be invited via local vaccination services.
There is no need for individuals to approach their GP or other local NHS services before they receive a letter or text. Those age 16 to 17¾ will not be able to use the National Booking Service, although they can find a convenient walk-in site near to where they live at nhs.uk/grab-a-jab.
Parental consent is not required to be vaccinated. People also do not have to be registered with a GP or have an NHS number to be vaccinated, although it will make the process easier so they should bring this if they can.
Young people who are within three months of turning 18 are being invited to book their appointments via the National Booking Service at the appropriate time and may also be invited via local vaccination services. All other eligible children and young people will only be invited by local vaccination services.