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06th Aug 2021

12 to 15-year-olds can register for Covid vaccine from next Thursday

Kat O'Connor

“A novel infection can have consequences for children.”

12-15-year-olds will be able to register for their Covid-19 vaccine from next Thursday, August 12.

The HSE confirmed that parents can register on behalf of their children.

People in this cohort will be given an mRNA vaccine, meaning either Pfizer or Moderna will be given to those who register.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly urged parents to seek advice from credible sources. “I’m encouraging parents and these young people to seek information from reliable sources such as the HSE website.”

The HSE stated that the vaccine is safe for 12-15-year-olds.

They advised: “Getting vaccinated is particularly recommended if your child is aged 12 to 15 and has a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19 or lives with someone who is at higher risk of Covid-19.”

Professor Karina Butler, head of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, reassured parents that the vaccine was perfectly safe.

“We feel it will be a step towards giving children the wider benefit and normalising their growing up and life experience as they have suffered greatly during the pandemic from all those extra curtailments on life.”

“I can understand why parents might be hesitant because this is a novel vaccine, but we’re also dealing with a novel infection that we know can have consequences for children. We believe that the benefits outweigh the risks and thus we have recommended that the vaccine be made available for those aged 12 to 15 years of age.”

She continued, “The reason we’ve made these recommendations is to protect children from the very mild infections of Covid and from the very rare complications of Covid that can affect even healthy children rarely.”

“We would absolutely encourage those who have underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk of Covid to avail of the vaccine as soon as it is offered.”

She said that most children will only have mild symptoms, but rare complications like an inflammatory condition tend to occur weeks after infection. Children can also suffer from long Covid, she stressed.

You can register your child for their Covid-19 vaccine here.