Coronavirus: Vaccination

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 8th April 2021.

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Photo of Thangam Debbonaire Thangam Debbonaire Shadow Secretary of State for Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that parents and carers of children who are clinically extremely vulnerable are able to receive the covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is the independent body made up of scientists and clinical experts who advise the Government on prioritisation of vaccines at a population level. At present, there is very limited data on vaccination in adolescents, with no data on vaccination in younger children. The JCVI advises that only those children at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care, should be offered vaccination as part of phase one.

The Public Health England Green Book, which provides guidance for health professionals and immunisation practitioners, also sets out that children under 16 years of age, even if they are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), are at low risk of serious morbidity and mortality, and given the absence of safety and efficacy data on the vaccine, are not recommended for vaccination.

Parents and carers of children who are CEV will be prioritised for vaccination if they are frontline health or social care workers, or if they are an unpaid carer who is in receipt of carers allowance or are the sole or primary carer for a child who is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. All other parents and carers will be vaccinated alongside other adults of the same age, or earlier if they have an underlying health condition themselves which makes them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

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