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HSE opens Covid vaccine registration for all children aged 5-11

The HSE said appointments are expected to be offered soon after registration.

Image: Shutterstock

PARENTS OF CHILDREN aged 5-11 years can register them for a Covid-19 vaccination from today, the HSE has confirmed. 

Previously registration for a Covid vaccine was only open for children in this group if they were high risk or living with someone considered high-risk.

From today all children in this age group are eligible. The HSE said appointments are expected to be offered soon after registration.

How to register

Parents can register their children for a vaccine through the HSE’s online portal. They 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 still 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.

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. 

The vaccines will be given in vaccination centres and a parent or guardian will need to attend with the child if they have not already given consent online.

Children aged 5 to 11 years old 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 three weeks apart. 

 The protection they get has been shown to be similar to the protection the Pfizer vaccine provides for adults. 

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Clinical trials

In a statement today the HSE said it knows that parents have questions and concerns about the Covid-19 vaccine.

“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 health service said.

Clinical trials showed that this vaccine was highly effective at preventing Covid-19 in children. Though serious illness from Covid-19 is rare in this age group, they are even less likely to become seriously ill with Covid-19 if they are vaccinated. All vaccines are tested before they are approved for use in Ireland by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The HSE has provided dedicated information for parents on hse.ie, which outlines the benefits and risks of the vaccine The HSE has also published a child-friendly comic about coming to the vaccination centre and how it works. 

Yesterday health officials reported  17,071 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, though actual case numbers are likely to be higher following changes to guidance around seeking a PCR test.

There are 804 patients with Covid in hospital today, up from 717 yesterday, and 87 confirmed cases in ICU. Eight additional admissions of patients with Covid to ICU were reported in the last 24 hours.

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