COVID vaccines for under 18s

All young people aged 12 to 17 can now get their first vaccine dose.

Everyone aged 16 and 17 can get a second vaccine dose from 12 weeks after their first one.

On 29 November 2021, JCVI published an announcement that second doses will be offered to 12-15 year olds. We will let you know when this age group can come in for their second jabs.

Two doses of the vaccine are available for:

  • children aged 12 – 15 years with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of serious COVID-19
  • children aged 12 – 15 years who live with someone with a suppressed immune system
  • everyone aged 16 and over

You can find information and videos about the vaccine created for young people, by young people, on the Everything COVID website.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Please click here to view our frequently asked questions (FAQs) on vaccines for 12-15 year olds.

On 15 November 2021, JCVI published new advice on second doses for 16 to 17 year olds. 16 and 17 year olds are eligible for two doses of the vaccine. You do not need your parents’ consent to get the vaccine if you’re 16 or over.

To get the vaccine, you can either:

  1. Use the NHS online booking service. You need to register with a GP to use the online booking service; you do not need proof of address or immigration status.
  2. Call 119, free of charge. You can speak to a translator if you need to.
  3. Visit a walk-in clinic. You do not need an appointment. You can check our list of walk-in clinics to find your nearest site vaccinating people aged 16 and 17.

People aged 16 and 17 are now being offered two doses of the vaccine: you can get your second dose from 12 weeks after the first dose.

Is my child eligible for two doses of the vaccine?

Two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are being offered to:

  • children aged 12 to 15 who live with someone with a suppressed immune system
  • children aged 12 to 15 with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of serious COVID-19

The conditions which mean that children are considered at increased risk for serious COVID-19 disease include:

  • severe neuro-disabilities
  • Down’s syndrome
  • underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression
  • those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register

The second dose can be given from 8 weeks after the first dose. Find out more about health conditions and eligibility.

How will my clinically vulnerable child get the vaccine?

You will be contacted by your GP to arrange vaccination for your child. It will take place in a location that is convenient and practical for you to access, which could be a vaccination centre, a GP surgery, a pop-up clinic or a home visit for children who cannot leave their homes.

My child is younger than 12 but is clinically extremely vulnerable. Will younger children be offered the vaccine in future?

Clinical trials are currently underway in pre-school and primary-school aged children. The MHRA will not approve any vaccines for use in these age groups until the result of these trials is known. JCVI will continue to update its advice as new data emerge and we will update this page as soon as we know more.

When can clinically vulnerable children get their second dose?

Clinically vulnerable young people aged 12 – 17 can get their second dose 8 weeks after their first dose. Healthy 16 and 17 year olds are eligible for a second dose, from 12 weeks after their first dose.

How do we know the vaccine is safe for children?

The Pfizer vaccine has been authorised for use in people aged 12 years and over in the UK. This follows evidence from a clinical trial where around 1,000 children aged 12 to 15 years received 2 doses of the vaccine.

The UK has also benefited from having data from the US, Canada and Israel, which have already offered vaccines universally to young people aged 12 to 15 years.

These 2 videos from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) explain this in more detail: video 1 and video 2.

Over 13 million 12-17 year olds have now been vaccinated in the US with no safety concerns being raised.

Short-lived mild side effects including a sore arm and fever are common in this age group. There are emerging reports from the UK and other countries of rare but serious adverse events, including myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane around the heart) in younger adults. These reports are being closely evaluated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and JCVI. The MHRA publish weekly reports on side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines.

How were the vaccines developed so quickly?

All vaccines have had 3 stages of clinical trials and were tested on tens of thousands of people around the world. The trial phases were run in parallel, speeding up the overall time of vaccine production, but not the critical research time.

Since December 2020 the Pfizer vaccine has been given to millions of people in the UK and has an excellent safety record.

These 2 videos from DHSC explain this in more detail: video 3 and video 4.

Read the guidance for parents about COVID-19 vaccination of 12-15 year olds.

To find a vaccination site anywhere in England, visit the NHS COVID-19 vaccination search page.