Important information from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer for Wales
We are writing to let you know that we can now offer a COVID-19 vaccine to your child.
Vaccination is the best way to protect your child from potential serious illness. This letter provides information to help you and your child understand more about the vaccine.
In the next few weeks NHS Wales will be contacting parents and guardians of children aged 5 to 11 years to offer vaccinations. For local information, health board vaccination web pages are listed here: Gov.Wales/covidvaccine.
Most 5 to 11 year old children will be offered two doses of the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine, 12 weeks apart. If your child has been identified as at clinical risk, or a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed, the interval is 8 weeks.
The UK independent medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products
Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has confirmed this vaccine is safe and effective for children of this age. They have carried out rigorous reviews of safety, quality, and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine for this age group.
The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that two doses of the vaccine should give your child long-lasting protection against complications of infection. It could also prime their immune system against future variants.
As the parent / guardian, you will need to consent to them having the vaccine. You'll also need to go with your child or authorise another care giver to do so, with your written consent. If your child is unwell with a fever or has had a positive coronavirus test in the 28 days before the appointment, you should delay their vaccination as outlined in the links below. Please let your health board know.
Vaccinations are given in a safe, child-friendly environment. Experienced and supportive NHS staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have. It may help for younger children to take a toy, book or device to distract and entertain them, and a snack for immediately following the procedure.
Nearly 9 in 10 eligible people (age 12+) in Wales have already had both of their primary
doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Please use the resources in the links below to help you and
your child reach a joint decision about taking up this offer.
These links will take you to accurate and trusted sources containing information on
vaccines. They have facts on safety, effectiveness and potential side effects (which are
usually mild and don’t require treatment). It would be good to involve your child in looking at some of the child-friendly resources below too:
Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/covid-19-vaccination-information
Public Health Wales information for 5-17 year olds
Public Health England https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccinationresources-for-children-aged-5-to-11-years
British Society of Immunology https://www.immunology.org/public-information/guidevaccinations-for-covid-19
Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation -
Vaccination saves lives. The World Health Organisation estimates that at least 2-3 million deaths are prevented every year through immunisation. If your child has missed any routine vaccinations during the pandemic please let your General Practice know. They can arrange for them to be rescheduled. Visit https://111.wales.nhs.uk/LiveWell/vaccinations/ for more information.
The Office of the Chief Medical Officer for Wales