16 August 2021
In line with recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), a select group of young people aged 12-15 years old are now eligible and can book to receive their first dose of the Pfizer/Biontech COVID-19 vaccine.
The JCVI is currently not recommending routine vaccination for all children and young people under 16. Instead, vaccination is focused on protecting vulnerable groups, both directly and indirectly, where the JCVI has confirmed that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any potential risks.
Only those young people who meet one of the following criteria are now eligible for the vaccine:
- aged 12 to 15 AND have an underlying health condition that makes them at a higher risk of becoming seriously unwell (this includes a severe neuro-disability, cerebral palsy, down's syndrome, immunosuppression, or severe learning disability)
- aged 12 to 15 AND live in the same household as someone who has immunosuppression (this includes someone who has HIV, transplant, receiving cancer treatment, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
Parents and guardians are asked that they visit: gov.je/vaccine where a full list of the clinical conditions can be found. Should parents and guardians then identify that their child is eligible, they can register for their child's vaccine appointment by calling the helpline on 0800 735 5566. Once registered, the vaccine team will contact the family to arrange a suitable appointment.
Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said: "I'm pleased that following advice from the JCVI, and engagement with the community and clinical experts, Jersey's Vaccination Programme can now roll out vaccines for more young Islanders.
"It is important that those eligible are given the opportunity to get vaccinated to protect themselves and to protect members of their household.
"We know that if more people become fully vaccinated, the threat of COVID-19 in the community and the health services, is significantly reduced."
Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, said: "I would like to reassure Islanders that the vaccines have been proven safe and effective for these young people. The vaccine has been through rigorous clinical trials to test its efficacy in younger people, and its use has been authorised by the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) with real time evidence reinforcing these conclusions.
"Although serious illness as a result of COVID-19 is rare amongst most young people, the risk is higher for those who are classed as clinically vulnerable. If they choose to be vaccinated, they will have a significant measure of protection against serious illness. Additionally, if they live with someone who is clinically vulnerable, by getting themselves vaccinated, they will reduce the potential risks to their loved ones."
Head of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Becky Sherrington, said: "I'd like to reassure all young people and parents that we have worked closely with our colleagues in Paediatrics, the Children's Commissioner, and the Law Officers department to design a safe and ethical process for vaccinating this group. I'd like to thank everyone involved and those families who have been waiting to receive this confirmation."
Vaccine appointments will be offered in a suitable setting for the child and in consultation with parents and guardians. For more information and to book online please visit gov.je/vaccines.