High risk 5-11 year old children can now register for a vaccine 9 months ago

High risk 5-11 year old children can now register for a vaccine

It opened today.

The vaccine portal for children aged between five and 11 years of age with a high-risk health condition has now opened for parents or guardians to register, the HSE has said.

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Children in this age cohort will be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, with children in this age group who live with a person considered higher risk, but are not necessarily high-risk themselves are also allowed to register from today.

These vaccines are set to be given at the HSE vaccination centres starting later this week, with parents of children registered set to receive a text message showing details of their child's appointment.

All other children are expected to become eligible for the vaccine from mid-January.

The move to implement the vaccine programme for children in Ireland was announced in November with Government following other nations' rollout for this age group.

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Appointments here can be made at www.hse.ie or by phone on 1800 700 700.

According to RTÉ, Dr Lucy Jessop, Director of Public Health, National Immunisation Office, said that the vaccine was "highly effective" in preventing Covid-19 in children and reducing the spread in clinical trials.

"All vaccines are tested before they are approved for use in Ireland by the European Medicines Agency," she said.

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"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."

While children are at significantly less risk of becoming ill from the virus, the vaccine will help reduce them spreading it to older age cohorts.