Covid vaccination for children aged 12-15 years
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are safe and effective. Two doses are being offered to children aged 12 to 15 to give them the best protection against COVID-19.
12 to 15 year olds can receive their 2nd dose either at a walk-in site or by booking an appointment via the National Booking System providing it has been 12 weeks since their first dose.
Vaccinating children should help to reduce the need for children to have time off school and to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 within schools.
These services offer walk-in appointments for any 12-15 year old from the south east London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. The vaccine being offered is the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Other slots may become available on the National Booking System in coming days and weeks. See www.nhs.uk/grab-a-jab for an up-to-date list.
There are additional Family Clinics in Bromley taking place in February. Get all the family protected in one stop. For over 12, offering first, second and booster doses. Book your place on Covid19schoolsvaccinationprogramme@gstt.nhs.uk. Walk-in appointments available depending on capacity.
- The Ravensbourne School – Hayes Lane, BR2 9EH
- Tuesday 15 February, 9.30-5.30pm
- Bullers Wood School for Boys – 19-27 Chislehurst Road, BR1 2NW
- Tuesday 22 February, 2.30-6.30pm
The COVID-19 vaccinations are being given from the beginning of the autumn term.
Like all school-based vaccination programmes, the vaccines will be administered by healthcare staff working closely with the school and following the usual approach to school-based immunisation.
The expectation is that the vaccination programme will be delivered primarily within schools but there might be certain areas or certain schools where this is not possible.
The team will administer the vaccination according to nationally agreed standards. Staff are appropriately qualified, trained (including in safeguarding) and experienced in vaccinating children and young people. Staff administering the vaccine will be wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.
All parents or those with parental responsibility are asked for consent and will usually make this decision, jointly with their children.
The information leaflet is addressed to the child (as the recipient of the vaccine) and encourages them to discuss the decision about the vaccine with their parents.
In secondary schools, some older children may be sufficiently mature to provide their own consent. This sometimes occurs if a parent has not returned a consent form but the child still wishes to have the vaccine on the day of the session. Every effort will be made to contact the parent to seek their verbal consent.
Yes. The vaccination is not mandatory. Parents will be asked to give their consent for the vaccination. Children may express a wish to have the vaccine and may have the capacity to provide informed consent themselves.
Parents should be encouraged to speak to their children ahead of time so that there is agreement on consent by the vaccination session.
Young people who understand fully what is involved in a proposed procedure, such as vaccination, can legally give consent. This is known as ‘Gillick competence’.
If no consent from a parent has been received, but the child wants to be vaccinated and is judged to be Gillick competent by the healthcare professional, the child can still be vaccinated. In this case, the healthcare professional will make every effort to contact a parent to check before they proceed.
If a parent objects to their child being vaccinated but the child wants to be vaccinated and is judged to be Gillick competent, the healthcare professional will try to reach agreement between the parent and child. However, the parent cannot overrule the decision of a Gillick competent child.
Trained professionals in the SAIS team, with expertise in vaccinating children will speak to the child. The SAIS team will assess the individual child’s capacity to self-consent (Gillick competence) and be responsible for deciding the appropriateness of administering the vaccine.
The vaccination helps to reduce the chance of COVID-19 infection and provides good protection against serious disease. It may take a few weeks to build up some protection from the first dose.
Common side effects
Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term and not everyone gets them. The very common side effects should only last a day or 2.
Very common side effects in the first day or 2 include:
- having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection
- feeling tired
- headache, aches and chills
Children and young people may also have flu-like symptoms with episodes of shivering and shaking for a day or 2.
We suggest that children should rest and take paracetamol (following the dose advice in the packaging) to help make them feel better.
Very rare serious side effects
Worldwide, there have been a small number of cases of inflammation of the heart called myocarditis or pericarditis, reported very rarely after COVID-19 vaccines. Most of these cases recovered within a few days and felt better following rest and simple treatments.
The cases have been seen mostly in younger males and mainly occurred within a few days of the second dose; myocarditis is extremely rare after the first dose of the vaccine.
Urgent medical advice should be sought if a child has the following symptoms in the 7 days following vaccination:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart
The NHS leaflets provide more information for parents and children on the vaccine, including how it works and what to expect after COVID-19 vaccination. There are accessible versions of the consent form and leaflets available for those with a learning disability or who live with autism. There are braille and British Sign Language (BSL) videos and translations will also be available.
Covid vaccination for children 12-15 years with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of severe COVID-19
The UK’s medicine regulator has approved the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12-15, and the Government has now confirmed that children aged 12-15 years, at higher risk of severe infection, should be offered the vaccination. This section provides information on Covid vaccinations in Bromley for children aged 12-15 with specific underlying health conditions.
On 19 July, the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) recommended that children aged 12 to 15 years with specific underlying conditions could be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine.
The Government has confirmed that children aged 12-15 years with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of severe COVID-19, who might be at higher risk of severe infection, should start to be offered invitations for their vaccination by 23 August 2021. The second dose will be given around 8 weeks after the first dose.
The eligible cohort is determined by the JCVI and includes:
- haematological malignancy
- sickle cell disease
- type 1 diabetes
- congenital heart disease
- other health conditions under ‘COVID-19 clinical risk groups for children aged 12 to 15 years’ including:
- Chronic respiratory disease: Includes those with poorly controlled asthma that requires continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission, cystic fibrosis, ciliary dyskinesias and bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
- Chronic heart conditions: Haemodynamically significant congenital and acquired heart disease, or milder heart disease with other co-morbidity.
- Chronic conditions of the kidney, liver or digestive system: Includes those associated with congenital malformations of the organs, metabolic disorders and neoplasms, and conditions such severe gastro-oesophageal reflux that may predispose to respiratory infection.
- Chronic neurological disease: Includes those with:
- neuro-disability and/or neuromuscular disease including cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy and muscular dystrophy
- hereditary and degenerative disease of the nervous system or muscles, or other conditions associated with hypoventilation
- severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), Down’s syndrome, or those on the learning disability register
- neoplasm of the brain
- Endocrine disorders: Includes diabetes mellitus, Addison’s and hypopituitary syndrome.
- Immunosuppression: Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment, including:
- those undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, solid organ transplant recipients, bone marrow or stem cell transplant recipients
- genetic disorders affecting the immune system (for example, deficiencies of IRAK-4 or NEMO, complement disorder, SCID)
- those with haematological malignancy, including leukaemia and lymphoma
- those receiving immunosuppressive or immunomodulating biological therapy
- those treated with or likely to be treated with high or moderate dose corticosteroids
- those receiving any dose of non-biological oral immune modulating drugs – for example, methotrexate, azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine or mycophenolate
- those with auto-immune diseases who may require long term immunosuppressive treatments
- children aged 12 or over living in a household with someone who is severely immunosuppressed
- Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen: Includes hereditary spherocytosis, homozygous sickle cell disease and thalassemia major.
- Serious genetic abnormalities that affect a number of systems: Includes mitochondrial disease and chromosomal abnormalities.
If you think that your child falls within any of these categories, but your child has not been invited by October 2021, please contact your GP or a health professional usually involved with your child’s care.
Children in these groups between the ages of 12 to 15 will be invited by letter, text message or telephone for their first vaccination by their GP’s local vaccination service, or by the hospital if your child is under the care of a specialist there.
Please note that these appointments cannot be booked online or via 119.
Your child may have been invited already by another health care service supporting your child’s health needs. If this is the case, please select the most appropriate vaccination setting for your child’s circumstances. Please be reassured, these invitations are not a one-time only offer, and you are welcome to take some time to think more about the vaccination.
Your child will be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, as this has been authorised for use in children aged 12 and over. The same vaccine will be offered for both doses.
Some children may need help to prepare for the appointment, so it may be necessary to talk to them about the Covid vaccine in a way they can understand. Information designed for children is attached for you and available at the website link provided.
The NHS is working together with local organisations in Bromley to ensure the experience is as comfortable as possible for you and your child. Local vaccination clinics are being set up specifically for children and will be offering longer appointment slots to provide extra time for those who may need it.
We are keen to understand how best to support your child. If there is something that we can do to make things easier, please let us know when you book the appointment, or when you attend for the vaccine.
As a parent it is your choice whether to have your child vaccinated against COVID19 and the NHS will need to gain your consent to give the vaccine. A short form is provided to the parent or guardian prior to the vaccination appointment. The consent form will need to be completed and handed in at the appointment.
If you have any specific concerns relating to your child having the vaccination, please discuss them with your GP or a healthcare professional usually involved with your child’s care.
On the day, the child’s parent or legal guardian must attend the vaccination appointment with their child.
We ask that you please make sure that your child is wearing practical clothing so that it’s easy to access their upper arm for the vaccination.
The healthcare professional who is vaccinating your child on the day will be able to answer questions you might have about the vaccine. They will also ask you the following:
- Is your child currently unwell with a fever?
- Is your child waiting for a Covid test result or have they had Covid in the last 28 days?
- Has your child had any vaccinations in the last 7 days?
- Has your child ever had a serious life threatening allergic reaction?
- Is your child taking any blood thinning medication?
After the vaccine has been given, there will be an observation period of between 15 and 30 minutes. This is in the unlikely event of a serious adverse reaction to the vaccine.
Your child will need two doses of the vaccine to get the best protection from the virus. Your child’s second dose will be given around 8 weeks after their first. You will be contacted nearer the time to book this appointment.
We endeavour to give young people a choice of venue that is appropriate and suitable for their circumstances.
We are holding clinics at the following locations in Bromley.
- Bromley Civic Centre
- Coldharbour Leisure Centre
- London Lane Clinic
- Oaks Park Medical Centre
- Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre
- West Wickham & Shirley Baptist Church
Check available dates here
St Thomas’ Hospital vaccination clinics
Parents may also wish to access a vaccination at the ‘Paeds Pod’ at St Thomas’ hospital. Appointments will be available from 10am-4pm everyday, including the weekend and bank holidays.
Parents of children who would like to use the Paeds Pod should email:
Or telephone: 0207 188 4040
Information for eligible children and young people on COVID-19 vaccination, prior to the vaccination appointment and what to expect after vaccination: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-resources-for-children-and-young-people
A simple text leaflet for at-risk children and young people aged 12 to 15 years to explain the Covid vaccine prior to the appointment, and what to expect after vaccination.