Children aged six months to four years to be offered Covid vaccine from next Monday
Covid-19 vaccines will be offered to children aged 6 months to 4 years from Monday, the HSE has announced.
Up to now the vaccines were only available to children aged five an over.
The National Immunisation Advisor Committee (NIAC) recently recommended Covid-19 vaccination for younger children.
People can book an appointment at hse.ie. It will only be available at community vaccination clinics at first.
It is expected that children with serious underlying conditions will be among the first to get the vaccine after parental permission is given.
NIAC said the vaccines be offered to younger children to protect them from severe disease, provide extra protection from the rare risks of serious illness from Covid-19, such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children),”as well as providing the modest benefit in reducing household transmission to those immunocompromised or too young for vaccination”,
The HSE said the advisory body also stressed stressed the safety profile of the vaccine and the comparable immunogenicity to that in older children and adolescents.
Dr Aparna Keegan, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE National Immunisation Office (NIO) said; “We are encouraging parents to familiarise themselves with HSE advice on the Children’s Covid-19 vaccine with information available at www.hse.ie. We know from listening to parents they have questions about getting the Covid-19 vaccine for their children. This is why we have provided information on our website to help parents make an informed decision.
“While serious illness from Covid-19 in this age group is rare, this vaccine offers further protection particularly for children who have health conditions that put them at high risk of severe Covid-19.”
Children in this age group will require three doses of the vaccine with an interval of three weeks between dose one and two and at least eight weeks between dose two and three.
It is also recommended that the Covid-19 vaccine is separated from the administration of other vaccines by 14 days.
Clinic details will be updated on www.hse.ie on a rolling basis so parents are advised to check the website for updates on clinic availability in the coming weeks. Some counties including Mayo and Donegal will commence clinics from the following week, March 2nd.
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