Published on: 22nd October 2021

Parents in Greater Manchester will be able to book COVID-19 vaccinations online for their 12–15-year-old children from the end of today (Friday) with appointments available as soon as tomorrow, the NHS has announced.

People will be able to go online and check the National Booking Service to see if their local site has appointments to vaccinate children and young people, as the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme continues at pace.

The booking service will provide an additional option for parents to book a vaccine for their child, alongside the schools programme which has already vaccinated children in more than one-third of the region’s schools.

If a child has already been invited through their school but hasn’t yet been vaccinated, they do not need to act on their invite through the national booking system unless parents wish to get their child vaccinated outside of school.

The move is an expansion of the existing COVID-19 vaccination programme, providing parents with an extra option, as the biggest and fastest vaccination programme in health history continues to protect people against the virus.

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 which will be included in the letter in advance of arriving for their appointment. This can also be accessed online.

Children will be able to get vaccinated at a number of vaccination centres, GP practices, pharmacies and hospital hubs across the region, with plans to bring further sites online over the coming weeks. Parents are being advised to keep checking the NHS.uk website as more appointments and sites become available.

Parents are also asked to make sure young people wear appropriate clothing when going for their vaccination. They should wear clothes that allow easy access to the upper arm.   

Letters will be sent to parents and guardians of children aged 12 – 15 over the coming weeks inviting them to book the vaccine online or by calling 119 as the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme continues at pace.

More than 3.75 million vaccines have already been given in Greater Manchester, part of 83 million vaccines delivered nationally.

Christine Khiroya, screening and immunisation lead at Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said the out of school offer would provide greater choice for parents and young people.

She said: “The new offer will make it possible for children aged 12 to 15 who have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated at school – including those who are home educated – to book an appointment online or via 119 during half term and beyond.

“Exactly the same principles for consent, and exactly the same safeguards will be in place as for in-school vaccinations. The extra flexibility and capacity we are providing will enable faster roll-out to this group at a time when the rate of COVID-19 infection in secondary aged children continues to be high.”

Parents or guardians will be able to book their child in for a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine through the national online booking service or they can ring 119.