Alicia Adwoa still

Young and healthy people can still get coronavirus, develop severe illness and spread the virus to loved ones.

Younger people are still affected by Covid-19

Coronavirus is affecting many people and rising numbers of unvaccinated younger people are getting seriously ill and being admitted to hospital. There also appears to be a risk of ‘long Covid’ in young people. Research continues to be undertaken to understand these risks further.

Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves against Covid-19.

Even if you are healthy, it is much safer for your immune system to learn how to fight diseases through vaccination rather than by catching them. It is expected that the Covid vaccines will offer you protection for at least a year.

Children aged 5 to 11

Experts have advised that parents of all children aged 5 to 11 years should be offered the chance to have their child vaccinated. All children aged 5 to 11 are now being offered a single first and second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine. The vaccine will reduce the chances of your child suffering from Covid 19. Two doses of the vaccine should provide long-lasting protection against serious illness from Covid 19, including any future waves of new variants. All vaccines given to children in the UK, including the Covid vaccine, have been approved by the UK’s independent medicine’s regulator.

Children at greater risk of serious illness if they catch Covid 19 will need two doses of the vaccine, eight weeks apart. Children who do not have underlying health conditions will be offered two doses of the vaccine, 12 weeks apart.

How to book a vaccine for your child

You can book your child’s 1st dose online from the day they turn 5.

You can usually book their 2nd dose from 24 hours after they had their 1st dose.

You'll be offered appointment dates from 12 weeks after their 1st dose.

Book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment

You can call the National Booking Service on 119 to make an appointment. Parents will need to take their child to a local pharmacy or vaccination centre to get them vaccinated

Very few healthy children and young people with Covid-19 go on to have severe disease but offering the vaccine to 5-to 11-year-olds can help to reduce this risk even further. The vaccine also reduces the spread of Covid-19 within schools and the time out of education.

Find out more about vaccination for 5-11 year olds here

Children aged 12 to 15

All children aged 12 to 15 years old can get offered a single a first and second of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which has been approved for use in children by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Children can get a first dose of the vaccine from the day they turn 12.

Children over the age of 12 who have a severely weakened immune system can get a third booster dose if they had a 2nd dose at least 3 months ago.

Children aged 12 to 15 can get their Covid vaccine in their school, book their vaccination appointments online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy, or find a walk-in vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment. If you have your first dose at a walk-in vaccination side, you can book your second COVID-19 vaccination appointment online but you will need to wait 24 hours after your first dose before you are able to book.

Consent will be sought from parents, guardians and carers before vaccination.

Find a walk-in vaccination site here.

Very few healthy children and young people with Covid-19 go on to have severe disease but offering the vaccine to 12-to 15-year-olds can help to reduce this risk even further. The vaccine also reduces the spread of Covid-19 within schools and the time out of education.

Find out more about vaccination for 12-15 year olds here

People aged 16 to 17

You can get your first, second and booster dose of a Covid vaccine if you're aged 16 or 17. Hundreds of thousands of 16 and 17-years-olds in England have already had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. Most people aged 16 and 17 should have their second dose from 12 weeks after their first dose.

You can get your vaccine either by booking an appointment online , by going to a walk-in vaccination site , or you can wait to be contacted by a local NHS service such as your GP surgery and book your appointments with them.

If you have your first dose through your GP surgery, they will contact you when it is time to have your second dose. If you have your first dose at a walk-in vaccination side, you can book your second COVID-19 vaccination appointment online but you will need to wait 24 hours after your first dose before you are able to book.

You can also call 119 for assistance with booking a vaccine.

Personal benefits of having the vaccine

Getting both initial doses and the booster of the vaccine considerably reduces your risk of severe illness, making it safer to go back to the office, work alongside your colleagues and share a house with friends if you’re a student. Having the first doses of the vaccine will give you some protection from three or four weeks after you've had it. But you need the two doses, and the booster if you’re eligible, for stronger and longer-lasting protection.

Getting vaccinated can also make it easier to travel. Some countries won’t let you in if you’re unvaccinated and others impose stricter restrictions and testing. Please check the rules about where you’re going well before you leave.

By getting vaccinated, you’re not just helping yourself, you’re helping everyone get life back to normal, and stay normal.




This content has been reviewed by clinicians and public health professionals Page last reviewed: 13 April, 2022