This site is intended for health professionals only

‘Do not’ begin vaccinating 12-15-year-olds against Covid yet, NHS England tells GPs

by Nicola Merrifield
30 July 2021

Share this article

GP-led vaccinations sites are having to cancel Covid-19 jabs for 12-15-year-olds after NHS England said they should not yet go ahead due to indemnity concerns.

Last week primary care networks (PCNs) were given the green light to vaccinate children aged 12-15 who are deemed at ‘increased risk of serious Covid-19 disease’.

GPs were told to identify children in this group who would be eligible for the jab. It was also confirmed children aged 12-17 who are a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed would also be offered vaccination.

But in an NHS England bulletin sent to GP practices last night, an FAQ document on the Covid-19 vaccination programme said it was ‘important PCN groupings do not begin to vaccinate eligible 12–15-year-olds until we have confirmed details and revised the service specification’.

It said: ‘Further to the JCVI’s statement on the vaccination of children on 19 July 2021, and our subsequent letter dated 22 July 2021 to GPs and systems, we have updated the General Practice Enhanced Service Specification for phase 1 and 2 of the Covid-19 vaccination programme to enable PCN groupings (who are delivering Covid-19 vaccinations to cohorts 10-12) to immediately vaccinate eligible patients who are 17 years of age and within three months of their 18th birthday.’

The document added: ‘We will write soon with further information about the implementation of the JCVI’s advice on the vaccination of 12-15-year-olds with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of serious Covid-19.  

‘It is important that PCN Groupings do not begin to vaccinate eligible 12–15-year-olds until we have confirmed details and revised the service specification, because such vaccinations may not be covered by the general practice indemnity scheme.’

The FAQ document did not specify whether the instructions to hold off vaccinations includes children aged 12-15 who are household contacts of immunosuppressed people.

This story first appeared on our sister title, Pulse.

Want news like this straight to your inbox?