THE Welsh Government have unveiled plans to offer Covid-19 vaccines to some children between the age of 12 and 15.

Eluned Morgan, health minister, said children and young people with "specific underlying health conditions" will be offered the vaccine.

Ms Morgan was responding to the latest advice published by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

She said: "Following months of discussion and consideration of evidence, the JCVI recommends that children and young people aged between 12 and 15-years-old with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of serious Covid-19 should be offered a Covid-19 vaccination.

"Essentially the clinically extremely vulnerable patient group now includes young people aged 12 and over. The NHS will work quickly to identify these young people and to offer them the vaccine.

"Young people aged 16 to 17 years of age who are at higher risk of serious COVID-19, as currently set out in the Green Book, have already been offered the COVID-19 vaccination and should continue to be offered.

"Children and young people aged 12 years and over who are household contacts of persons who are immunosuppressed should be offered a COVID-19 vaccination on the understanding that the main benefits from vaccination are related to the potential for indirect protection of their household contact who is immunosuppressed."

There is a self-referral form for this process, which can be found here.

The JCVI also advised that it was reasonable to allow a "lead-in time" to offer vaccination to children who are with three months of their 18th birthday.

They say this will ensure good uptake of the vaccine in newly-turned 18-year-olds.

As a result, the Welsh Government will "move quickly" to vaccinate those turning 18-years-old, and those intending to go to university, Ms Morgan said.


The health minister added: "As a result of the low incidence and severity of COVID-19 in children and the reported safety issues, the JCVI does not currently advise routine universal vaccination of all other children and young people less than 18 years of age.

"I am aware there have been calls for children to be vaccinated to prevent them getting post-acute Covid-19 syndrome (long COVID).

"Covid rates in children are relatively low and there is still limited information about the overall direct effects of the virus on them.

"However, studies are emerging which show that this risk is very low in children, especially in comparison with adults, and similar to the secondary health complications of other respiratory viral infections in children.

"My officials remain in close contact with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on this matter and have established a group to consider the impacts of Long Covid on both adults and children and co-ordinate the wide ranging response needed.

"The group includes children’s policy leads as well as clinical and research colleagues. The group has just committed to establishing a sub-group, chaired by Dr Mark Walker, to consider the establishment of a paediatric care pathway for use with children with Long Covid in Wales."