Tuesday 28 December 2021
The HSE today (Tuesday, 28th December), opened COVID-19 vaccine registration for children aged 5 to 11 years who are at higher risk from COVID-19.
Parents can register their child for the vaccine from today if they have a health condition that puts them at higher risk or if they live with someone who is at higher risk.
All other children will be invited to register during January 2022.
Dr Lucy Jessop, Director of Public Health, National Immunisation Office said: “We’re inviting parents of children in this priority group to register their child for their free COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is being offered to children who are most at risk from COVID-19, so that they or their vulnerable household contacts can be protected first. Parents of all other children ages 5-11 years will be invited to register in January.”
“Clinical trials showed that this vaccine was highly effective at preventing COVID-19 in children. All vaccines are tested before they are approved for use in Ireland by the European Medicines Agency.
“We know from listening to parents that they have questions and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine – particularly parents whose child is not at higher risk. I would encourage parents to take time to read more about the vaccines. Parents should get their information from a trusted source, such as hse.ie or a medical professional when making the decision to vaccinate their child.”
The HSE has provided dedicated information for parents, which outlines the benefits and risks of the vaccine, read this here. The HSE has also published a child-friendly comic all about coming to the vaccination centre and how it works, read this here.
How to Register
The quickest and easiest way to register is online. You will need a Personal Public Service (PPS) number, Eircode, a mobile phone number and an email address. Alternatively, parents can call HSELive on 1800 700 700 to register their child over the phone.
Children who don’t have a PPSN can be vaccinated, their parents can register them on the phone with HSElive.
Once a parent registers their child, they will receive a text message with details of their appointment. The vaccines will be given in vaccination centres.
Getting the vaccine
In line with NIAC guidance, children aged 5 to 11 years olf will be offered a Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech) vaccine. The vaccine for children is a smaller dose than the vaccine for adults. They will need two doses about 3 weeks apart. The protection they get has been shown to be similar to the protection the Pfizer vaccine provides for adults.
Parent consent required
A parent or legal guardian will need to give consent for their child to get their COVID-19 vaccine. If a parent registers online, they will be sent a text message with a link to give consent before the appointment for vaccination. This will be sent to the number you used to register.
A parent or legal guardian will need go to the appointment in person to give consent if they:
- have not given consent online
- have registered by phone - it is not possible to give consent over the phone
Attending the appointment
This HSE guide for children coming for their vaccine can be read with your child before attending for vaccination.
Getting my COVID-19 vaccine (Comic) (PDF, 1.6 MB, 2 pages)
Most children aged 5 to 11 year olds will be vaccinated at a vaccination centre near their home. They will need to be accompanied by an adult. Children attending alone will not be vaccinated.
Where possible, the child’s parent or legal guardian should attend the vaccination appointment with their child. If the parent or legal guardian has given consent online in advance, it is possible for them to ask another adult to bring their child to the appointment. If consent has not been given yet, the child's parent or legal guardian has to be there.
If the appointment time does not suit, parents can change the appointment by calling HSELive on1800 700 700. Parents of children with additional needs who might need an alternative appointment at a quieter time, and parents who wish to make appointments for more than 1 child at the same time can also contact HSELive.
Appointments have been spaced out to keep everybody safe. People are asked to arrive on time for their appointment but not more than 5 minutes before their appointment.
For more information see COVID-19 vaccination for children.
Issued by HSE National Press Office
Going to a vaccination centre
Important information for parents and guardians about the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years (PDF, size 1.2MB, 16 pages)
Last updated on: 27 / 12 / 2021