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Vaccination of 12-15 year-old children set to begin from today after thousands register

As of yesterday morning, 65,000 children in that age group had registered.

Vaccine centre in the Swords National Show Centre.
Vaccine centre in the Swords National Show Centre.
Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

THE VACCINATION OF children aged 12-15 is set to begin from this weekend after the HSE’s registrtion portal opened on Thursday. 

As of yesterday morning, 65,000 children in that age group had registered on the HSE online portal with vaccinations set to begin this weekend. 

“Many of those who have registered on Thursday will have already received appointments for throughout this weekend, we’re very happy to say that,” HSE CEO Paul Reid said yesterday.

Our teams at our vaccination centres are strongly focused on getting this job done rapidly and quickly, we will have late openings at centres next week and we will have some more communications on that. So yes it starts immediately and yes, many of those 12-15 year olds will be receiving their vaccine vaccine this weekend. 

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is recommending to parents of children with underlying conditions that they avail of a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible but also say that all parents should equally consider vaccinating their children 

NIAC has said that Covid-19 is most often a mild disease in children but that some will suffer from severe disease. 

In may this year the European Medicines Agency approved the first Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12-15 in the EU, the Pfizer vaccine. 

This was based on a study involving 2,259 children aged 12 to 15. The trial showed an immune response that was comparable to that shown in the 16 to 25 age group. None of the children who received the vaccine developed Covid-19, compared to 16 who did develop Covid-19 after receiving a placebo. 

The most common side effects included pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills and fever. These effects are usually mild or moderate and improve within a few days from the vaccination. 

As well as protecting children with underlying conditions, NIAC’s chair Dr Karina Butler said last month that there are other factors at play that led to NIAC’s advice that all children aged 12-15, regardless of health status, are offered a vaccine.

She said these included “the impact of the pandemic on children” and how, for example, children may themselves fear passing Covid-19 onto vulnerable people or have experienced older family members “pulling away from them”.

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“Taking all that into account, we felt that the benefits of vaccination exceeded any risk associated with vaccines for children,” she said.

The HSE’s information for parents states that “a parent or legal guardian will need to give consent for their child to get their vaccine”.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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