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afvice for children and young people.png
View the printable pdf guide here.

Text from this guide is shown below.


View 'COVID-19 vaccination: an easy-read leaflet for at-risk children and young people aged 12 to 15 years'


​​​​​​​

The NHS is offering the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to all eligible children.

This leaflet tells you what to expect after you have had your vaccination. If you need a second dose of vaccine, make sure you arrange your next appointment.

Side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term and not everyone gets them. The very common side effects should only last a day or two. The Pfizer vaccine tends to cause more side effects after the second dose of the vaccine.

Very common side effects in the first day or two include:

  • having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection
  • feeling tired
  • headache, aches and chills

You may also have flu like symptoms with episodes of shivering and shaking for a day or two. However, a high temperature could also indicate that you have COVID-19 or another infection.

You can rest and take paracetamol (follow the dose advice in the packaging) to help make you feel better.

An uncommon side effect is swollen glands in the armpit or neck on the same side as the arm where you had the vaccine. This can last for around 10 days, but if it lasts longer see your doctor.

What to do if you are concerned about your symptoms

These symptoms normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, you or your parents can call NHS 111. If you do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination (show them the vaccination card) so that they can assess you properly.

You can also report suspected side effects of vaccines and medicines online through the Yellow Card scheme or by downloading the Yellow Card app.

Are there other more serious side effects?

Recently, cases of inflammation of the heart (called myocarditis or pericarditis) have been reported very rarely after COVID-19 vaccines.

These cases have been seen mostly in younger men within a few days after vaccination. Most of these people recovered quickly and felt better following rest and simple treatments.

You should seek medical advice urgently if you experience:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart

Can you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.

The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

Although a fever can occur within a day or two of vaccination, if you have any other COVID-19 symptoms or your fever lasts longer, stay at home and arrange to have a test.

What to do next

After your vaccine, you should be given a record card. If you need a second dose your next appointment will be in about 8 to 12 weeks time. The second dose will give you longer lasting protection.

Keep your record card safe. If you need a second dose, don’t forget to keep your next appointment.

If you are not well for your appointment

If you are unwell, it is better to wait until you have recovered to have your vaccine.

You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating, waiting for a COVID-19 test or within 4 weeks of having a positive COVID-19 test.

Will the vaccine protect you?

The COVID-19 vaccine that you have had has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease.

Millions of doses of the vaccine have been given worldwide. The vaccine is highly effective in children and young people.

It may take a few weeks for your body to build up some protection from the vaccine. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection.

Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.

What you can do after you’ve had the vaccine

The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and it will reduce your chance of becoming ill. It is still important to continue to follow current national guidance. You can continue going to school, college or work after you have had the vaccine.

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues, you must still:

  • think about social distancing
  • wear a face mask where advised
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • open windows to let fresh air in
  • follow the current guidance

How COVID-19 is spread

COVID-19 is spread through droplets breathed out from the nose or mouth, particularly when speaking or coughing. It can also be picked up by touching your eyes, nose and mouth after contact with contaminated objects and surfaces.

Further information

Please read the product information leaflet for more details on your vaccine, including possible side effects, on the Coronavirus Yellow Card website. You can also report suspected side effects on the same website or by downloading the Yellow Card app.

Further information is available from NHS.UK.

eligible children and young people aged 12 to 17.pngView the printable pdf guide here.

Text from the guide is shown below.


This leaflet explains the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme for eligible children and young people.

What is COVID-19 or coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a very infectious respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Very few children and young people with COVID-19 infection go on to have severe disease.

There is no cure for COVID-19 although some newly tested treatments do help to reduce the risk of complications.

Eligibility and timing of vaccination

The NHS is offering COVID-19 vaccination to children and young people. This includes those aged 12 to 17 years at increased risk from infection who will need 2 doses of the vaccine 8 weeks apart. All other young people aged 12 to 17 years will be offered a first dose of vaccine. The timing of a second dose for these 12 to 17 year olds will be confirmed later.

Risk of COVID-19 infection

Coronavirus can affect anyone. Some children and young people are at greater risk including those living with serious conditions such as:

  • cancers (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • diabetes
  • serious heart problems
  • chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including poorly controlled asthma
  • kidney, liver or a gut disease
  • lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (steroid medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • an organ transplant
  • a neurodisability or neuromuscular condition
  • a severe or profound learning disability
  • Down’s syndrome
  • a problem with your spleen, for example sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
  • epilepsy
  • serious genetic problems
  • other serious medical conditions as advised by your doctor or specialist

Your specialist or GP will tell you if you need the COVID-19 vaccination.

For most children and young people COVID-19 is usually a milder illness that rarely leads to complications. For a very few the symptoms may last for longer than the usual 2 to 3 weeks. The vaccination will help to protect you against COVID-19.

Currently the vaccine licensed for children and young people is the Pfizer vaccine. This is what you will be offered.

Protection from the vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a few weeks for your body to build up some protection from the vaccine. You should get good protection from the first dose, having the second dose should give you longer lasting protection against the virus.

Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe. Further information is available on symptoms on NHS.UK.

The vaccines do not contain organisms that grow in the body, and so are safe for children and young people with disorders of the immune system. These people may not respond so well to the vaccine but it should offer them protection against severe disease.

You will probably want to share information about the vaccine with your parents and discuss it together.

If you are being offered the vaccination at school, you may be given a consent form that your parent or guardian should sign giving permission for you to have the vaccination.

The nurse or GP will discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with you at your appointment and will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Side effects

Common side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short term, and not everyone gets them. With the vaccine we use in under-18s, side effects are more common with the second dose.

Very common side effects include:

  • having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection. This tends to be worst around 1 to 2 days after the vaccination
  • feeling tired
  • headache
  • general aches, or mild flu like symptoms

You can rest and take paracetamol (follow the dose advice in the packaging) to help make you feel better. Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for 2 to 3 days, a high temperature is unusual and may indicate you have COVID-19 or another infection. Symptoms following vaccination normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, you or your parents can call NHS 111.

Less common side effects

Recently, cases of inflammation of the heart (called myocarditis or pericarditis) have been reported very rarely after COVID-19 vaccines.

Most of these cases have been in younger men and usually a few days after the second vaccination. Most people recovered and felt better following rest and simple treatments.

You should seek medical advice urgently if you experience:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart

If you or your parents or carers do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination (show them the vaccination card, if possible) so that they can assess you properly.

You or your parents and carers can also report suspected side effects to vaccines and medicines online through the Yellow Card scheme.

Can you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.

The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell If you have the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test

What to do next

After you have had the first dose you may be given a second appointment sometime later. Your record card will show the details of the first dose.

You will be advised on the right timing for your second dose to help give the best, and longest lasting protection for you.

If you are not well when your appointment is due

You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating, waiting for a COVID-19 test or within 4 weeks of having a positive COVID-19 test.

How COVID-19 is spread

COVID-19 is spread through droplets breathed out from the nose or mouth, particularly when speaking or coughing.

It can also be picked up by touching your eyes, nose and mouth after contact with contaminated objects and surfaces.

You must still follow any national or local restrictions and:

  • where advised wear a face mask
  • wash your hands regularly
  • open windows to let fresh air in
  • follow the current guidance

Further information

You or your parents should read the product information leaflet for more details on your vaccine, including possible side effects, on the Coronavirus Yellow Card website. You can also report suspected side effects on the same website or by downloading the Yellow Card app.

Further vaccine information is available from NHS.UK.

 


eligible children and young people aged 16 to 17.pngView the printable pdf guide here.

Text from the guide is shown below.

 

This leaflet explains the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme for eligible children and young people.

What is COVID-19 or coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a very infectious respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Very few children and young people with COVID-19 infection go on to have severe disease.

There is no cure for COVID-19 although some newly tested treatments do help to reduce the risk of complications.

Eligibility and timing of vaccination

The NHS is offering COVID-19 vaccine to some children and young people. This includes those aged 12 to 17 years at increased risk from infection who will need 2 doses of the vaccine 8 weeks apart. All young people aged 16 and 17 years will be offered a first dose of vaccine. The timing of a second dose for these 16 to 17 year olds will be confirmed later.

Risk of COVID-19 infection

Coronavirus can affect anyone. Some children and young people are at greater risk. This includes those who live with severe neurodisabilities, severe learning difficulties, Down’s syndrome and other serious conditions. Your specialist or GP will tell you if you need the COVID-19 vaccination.

For most children and young people COVID-19 is usually a milder illness that rarely leads to complications. For a very few the symptoms may last for longer than the usual 2 to 3 weeks. The vaccination will help to protect you against COVID-19.

Currently the vaccine licensed for children and young people is the Pfizer vaccine. This is what you will be offered.

Protection from the vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a few weeks for your body to build up some protection from the vaccine. You should get good protection from the first dose, having the second dose should give you longer lasting protection against the virus.

Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe. Further information on COVID-19 symptoms is available on NHS.UK.

The vaccines do not contain organisms that grow in the body, and so are safe for children and young people with disorders of the immune system. These people may not respond so well to the vaccine but it should offer them protection against severe disease.

Side effects

Common side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short term, and not everyone gets them. With the vaccine we use in under-18s, side effects are more common with the second dose.

Very common side effects include:

  • having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection. This tends to be worst around 1 to 2 days after the vaccine
  • feeling tired
  • headache
  • general aches, or mild flu like symptoms

You can rest and take paracetamol (follow the dose advice in the packaging) to help make you feel better. Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for 2 to 3 days, a high temperature is unusual and may indicate you have COVID-19 or another infection. Symptoms following vaccination normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, you or your parents can call NHS 111.

Less common side effects

Recently, cases of inflammation of the heart (called myocarditis or pericarditis) have been reported very rarely after COVID-19 vaccines. Most of these cases have been in younger men and usually a few days after the second vaccination.

You should seek medical advice urgently if you experience:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart

Most of these people recovered and felt better following rest and simple treatments.

If you or your parents or carers do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination (show them the vaccination card, if possible) so that they can assess you properly.

You or your parents and carers can also report suspected side effects to vaccines and medicines online through the Yellow Card scheme.

Can you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.

The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell

If you have the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test.

What to do next

After you have had the first dose you may be given a second appointment sometime later. Your record card will show the details of the first dose. You will be advised on the right timing for your second dose to help give the best, and longest lasting protection for you.

Keep your record card safe and make sure you keep your next appointment to get your second dose.

If you are not well when your appointment is due

You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating, waiting for a COVID-19 test or within 4 weeks of having a positive COVID-19 test.

How COVID-19 is spread

COVID-19 is spread through droplets breathed out from the nose or mouth, particularly when speaking or coughing. It can also be picked up by touching your eyes, nose and mouth after contact with contaminated objects and surfaces.

You must still follow any national or local restrictions and:

  • where advised wear a face mask
  • wash your hands regularly
  • open windows to let fresh air in
  • follow the current guidance

Further information

You or your parents can read the product information leaflet for more details on your vaccine, including possible side effects, on the Coronavirus Yellow Card website. You can also report suspected side effects on the same website or by downloading the Yellow Card app.

Further vaccine information is available from NHS.UK.


at-risk children and young people aged 12 to 15 .pngView the printable pdf guide here.

Text from the guide is shown below.

 

What is COVID-19
or coronavirus?

COVID-19 is an illness sometimes called coronavirus.

Most children who get COVID-19 have no symptoms. Those that do, have mild symptoms like a bad cold.

A few children and young people will get very poorly and have to go to hospital.

Who should have the COVID-19 vaccines

The vaccine is most important for the small number of children and young people who are likely to get poorly with COVID-19.

They include those with:

  • severe neurodisabilities
  • immunosuppression – those whose immune systems don’t work as well and also those who live with someone who is immunosuppressed
  • profound and multiple or severe learning disabilities
  • being on the learning disability register
  • those living with Down’s syndrome
  • those living with long term serious conditions affecting your body. Your GP will know if you need to have the vaccine

All these children and young people who are aged 12 to 15 years of age should have the COVID-19 vaccinations.

About the vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine is an injection.

You may need 2 injections of the vaccine usually 8 to 12 weeks apart.

The vaccine has been tested to make sure it is as safe as possible.

Knowing if you should get a vaccine

Your GP (family doctor) should be able to check if you should get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Some people may receive a letter, or a phone call to invite them for their vaccination.

Can you give COVID-19 to anyone after you have had the vaccine?

Having the vaccine makes you less likely to get very ill from COVID-19.

It will help to stop you from catching and passing on the virus.

Common side effects

Common side effects include:

  • your arm feeling heavy or sore where you had the injection
  • feeling achy or like you’ve got the flu
  • feeling tired
  • having a headache

If you feel feverish (like you’re very hot or very cold) you should:

  • rest
  • take paracetamol

You should feel better in less than a week.

Rare but serious side effects

Worldwide, there have been recent, rare cases of inflammation of the heart reported after COVID-19 vaccines.

These cases have been seen within a few days of vaccination.

Most people felt better after a few days of simple treatment.

You should seek medical advice urgently if you experience:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart

If you feel very poorly after vaccination, call 111 or go to the 111 website. Make sure you tell them about the vaccine, or show them your card.

If you think you have a serious side effect from the vaccine you can report them using the Yellow Card scheme. The Coronavirus Yellow Card system is a website where you can report any side effects from the vaccine. You may need support to access this website.

How to book your appointment

If you receive an invitation letter, it will explain how to make your appointment.

Use the telephone to make your appointment. You or your parent can call 119.

You will get told where to go for your vaccine and when.

What to do next

When you’ve had the first injection, you should get a record card. This card should have your next appointment for 8 to 12 weeks time.

Although the first dose will give you good protection, you need the second dose to get longer-lasting protection.

Keep your card safe and make sure you go to get your second injection.

How long the vaccine takes to work

It can take a few weeks for the vaccine to protect you.

Does the vaccine work for everyone?

The vaccine doesn’t completely stop everyone getting COVID-19, but if you do, it should still stop you being very poorly.

What to do if you are not well when it is your next appointment

You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating, waiting for a COVID-19 test or unsure if you are fit and well.

What you can do after you’ve had the vaccine

After the vaccine, you should still:

  • wear a face mask in crowded indoor spaces
  • meet outdoors or if indoors, let fresh air in
  • wash your hands carefully and often
  • follow the current guidance

Signs of COVID-19

A new cough and you keep on coughing.

A high temperature.

Your smell or taste going away or changing.

If you have the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test.

Further information on symptoms is available on NHS.UK.

If you cannot use the NHS website, phone 111 free of charge.

The COVID-19 vaccination programme for young people: guidance for parents leaflet is
available here

It's also available to download in the following languages:


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COVID-19 vaccination consent form for healthcare workers.
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COVID-19 consent form - adults
(able to consent)
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