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Those aged between 5 and 11 who are clinically at risk or live with someone who is immunosuppressed can now receive a Covid-19 vaccination.

Those eligible will receive a letter from their GP inviting them to book an appointment through a local booking system at their GP practice or a nearby vaccination centre. At the moment this group will not be able to book through the national booking system.

This latest cohort was reviewed by the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) who recommended that eligible children should receive two 10 micrograms doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with a minimum interval of eight weeks between these doses.

Eligible children include those with diabetes, immunosuppression, learning disabilities, and other conditions as outlined by the UK Health Security Agency in the Green Book.

Dr Julie Yates, Lead Consultant for Screening and Immunisation for NHS England and NHS Improvement South West, said:

“The Covid-19 vaccination programme has made a huge impact on the way we are able to live our lives compared to this time last year.

“This latest announcement will ensure that the most vulnerable 5 to 11 year olds are able to get protected against the virus.

“I urge any parent or guardian of children in this eligible group to book an appointment as soon as they receive a letter.”

Last month the JCVI also issued updated guidance recommending all 16 and 17 year olds get a Pfizer booster from three months (91 days) after their second dose.

People aged 16 and 17 can now go to the NHS website and book their booster appointment two months (61 days) after their second dose. They will be offered appointment dates from three months (91 days) after their second Covd-19 vaccine.

In line with JCVI guidance it should be noted that these young people should also wait 12 weeks (84 days) before having the vaccine if they have a positive Covid-19 test (or 4 weeks / 28 days if in a high risk group).

In the South West vaccination teams have administered more than 12.4million Covid-19 vaccinations.