Yes. As with any medicine, vaccines are highly-regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population. The NHS does not offer any COVID-19 vaccinations to the public unless it is approved as safe and effective by the UK regulator. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the official UK regulator authorising licensed use of medicines and vaccines by healthcare professionals, make this decision for each potential vaccine, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.
Furthermore, the JCVI has reviewed extensive clinical evidence for the safety of giving the COVID-19 vaccine to children and young people in the eligible groups and have determined it to be safe and effective. The JCVI has determined that the benefit of vaccinating children in these groups outweighs the risks.
These are important details which the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will consider when assessing candidate vaccines for use. NHSE plans currently include provision for monitoring patients immediately after their dose is administered, and all patients will be provided with information on the vaccine they have received, how to look out for any side effects, and what to do if they do occur, including reporting them to the MHRA.
Most children will get vaccinated at a site run by local GPs, a hospital or a specialist children’s centre. In cases where this isn’t possible, local arrangements will be in place with community pharmacies, vaccination hubs, housebound teams and in some cases at special schools.
If your child is in one of the new groups recommended for vaccination by the JCVI, you will be contacted by the NHS before then to arrange for your child’s vaccinations.
Children and babies will still get illnesses that can make them very unwell quickly. The main symptoms are a high temperature, a new or continuous cough and a loss or change to your senses of smell or taste.
Children will be given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for both doses. You can read the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine patient information leaflet on GOV.UK.
Some people who can get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are also eligible for the annual flu vaccine. If you are offered both vaccines, it’s safe to have them at the same time.
Watch the short video below to find out more about how the Covid-19 vaccine works.
All medicines are thoroughly checked and go through lots of rounds of testing before you even hear about them! The UK’s top scientists have undertaken plenty of research, and it shows that the vaccine is safe and effective for you.
Like the flu vaccine, after you’ve had it you might experience a sore arm, a stuffed nose or a cough. This is completely normal, and you’ll feel normal after two or three days.
To make sure you are okay, we’ll keep an eye on you for 15 minutes after your vaccine. If you are feeling unwell, there will be nurses on call to help you– this is very rare. Once your 15 minutes is done, you’ll get a handy information booklet with everything you need to know, and what to expect.
Your vaccination will likely happen at your local GP surgery or hospital. When your parents or guardians are contacted to book in your vaccine, they will be told exactly where you’ll be vaccinated, so they can share that with you then.
Even though you are less at risk of being very ill with COVID-19, there is a chance. Also, though you may not feel unwell, adults around you could become unwell. With a vaccination, the chance of you or your loved ones getting sick is much lower.
It is completely safe to have your COVID-19 vaccine as well as your flu vaccine at the same time. Please make sure to read over any information you are given to read, and follow the instructions there.