The NHS hopes extending the online booking service to under-16s in time for the half-term break will help boost numbers
Children aged between 12-15 will be able to book their Covid-19 vaccine appointments online from Friday 22 October.
Fewer than one in six children in that age bracket have received the jab so far.
The NHS hopes extending the online booking service to under-16s in time for the half-term break will help boost numbers.
Amanda Pritchard, the chief executive of NHS England, told MPs on the health select committee: “To make the most of half-term, we will be opening the national booking service for young people, 12 to 15-year-olds, to have their Covid vaccinations at existing vaccination centres.
“So that’s to make the most of half-term, the next two weeks in particular, a big push on trying to offer additional capacity for kids so they don’t have to come out of school.”
How to book an appointment online
To book or manage an appointment use the NHS’ online booking service.
Not all sites will be able to accommodate children, but the service will tell you which can.
The site will provide an additional option for parents to book a vaccine for their child.
If a child has already been invited through their school, they do not need act on their invite unless parents wish to get their child vaccinated outside of school.
It is currently unclear whether the online service will remain for 12 to 15-year-olds after half-term.
How will appointments work?
Parents and guardians will be advised to attend vaccination sites with their children if they want them to get jabbed outside of school hours, and consent will be sought on the day.
Parents and young people are being asked to read the patient information in advance of arriving for their appointment. This can also be accessed online.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the NHS vaccine programme, said: “The decision to get vaccinated has always been a private choice between a child and their parent or guardian – my 13-year-old son received his vaccine at school on the same day I had my booster dose in a local pharmacy. I would urge families to look at the information together and then book in to give children and their loved ones crucial protection ahead of winter.”