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'Source of relief' HSE hold one of first Covid vaccine clinics for priority children in Dublin

Vaccines to protect children against Covid-19 are being introduced in the coming weeks, with vulnerable children and children at high risk of contracting the virus being prioritised.

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It is expected that the vaccine programme for children aged five to 11 will begin fully in January (Damien Storan/PA)

It is expected that the vaccine programme for children aged five to 11 will begin fully in January (Damien Storan/PA)

It is expected that the vaccine programme for children aged five to 11 will begin fully in January (Damien Storan/PA)

One of the first Covid vaccination clinics for children aged 5-11 was held in Citywest vaccination centre by the HSE and Children’s Health Ireland.

Vaccines to protect children in this age cohort against Covid-19 are being introduced in the coming weeks, with vulnerable children and children at high risk of contracting the virus receiving priority status.

Children in this age group who have a health condition that puts them at risk of severe illness from Covid-19, or live with someone who is at higher risk from Covid-19, can now be registered for a vaccine

All other children will be invited to register in January 2022.

First-dose vaccines for children aged 5-11 are now being administered in clinics that are being run in paediatric hospitals and vaccination centres, with the first clinic being held in Citywest vaccination centre in Dublin.

Dr Colm Henry, HSE Chief Clinical Officer said: “The children’s vaccine is a source of relief and hope for many parents all over the country who have vulnerable children, or whose child is living with someone at higher risk.

“This vaccine has shown to offer protection from Covid-19, and will be given to children of this age in a smaller dose than the adult dose. We are encouraging parents and guardians to visit our website where they will find information to help make an informed decision when it is time for their child to be offered a Covid-19 vaccine.”

Chief Medical Officer of Children’s Health Ireland (CHI), Dr Allan Goldman is urging all eligible children to avail of vaccination.

“Although severe disease is rare, it does occur and can occur in children who were previously well. We would urge parents to seek information on the vaccination from reputable and scientific sources like hse.ie,” he said.

“A small number of patients of CHI at Temple Street, Crumlin, Tallaght and Connolly identified as in the highest clinical risk by paediatricians, are being vaccinated at the earliest opportunity at a dedicated clinic.

“If parents know that their child has an underlying medical condition, we would urge them to register their child on the HSE website now. Parents, medical professionals, the HSE, CHI – we must all work together to ensure children, especially medically vulnerable children, are protected against Covid-19.”

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