With a positive uptake in registration numbers for children aged 5-11 years of age for the COVID-19 vaccination, the HSE is encouraging parents to familiarise themselves with the HSE advice issued on the vaccination of children.
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.
The HSE has provided dedicated information for parents on hse.ie, which outlines the benefits and risks of the vaccine, read this here. The HSE has also published a child-friendly comic all about coming to the vaccination centre and how it works, read this here.
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Director of Public Health North East Dr Augustine Pereira acknowledged the concerns of parents, saying: “We know from listening to parents that they have questions and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I encourage you to use trusted sources, such as hse.ie or speak with a medical professional to get reliable information about the COVID-19 vaccine when making the important decision to vaccinate your child.
Outlining the positive impact for children who are vaccinated, Dr Pereira said: “Children who are vaccinated will be less likely to miss school and other activities because of being ill with COVID-19.
“Furthermore, it offers protection from COVID-19, and complications from COVID-19 such as ‘long COVID’ and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children. It may also help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. This is especially important if children and young people living with a younger child or an adult who is at risk of severe COVID-19.”
Chief Officer of Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation Des O’Flynn said: “Vaccines are working and helping to prevent severe illness across Ireland. We have made great progress with our community vaccination programme and we want to build on these gains and ensure our young population is vaccinated.
“We would encourage parents to avail of the opportunity to take up a vaccination for their children. It reduces the risk of children getting infected or passing on the virus, and will provide protection against serious illness. Parents can rest assured that staff who are working in our Community Vaccination Centres provide vaccines in a safe, friendly and efficient manner.”
The quickest and easiest way to register is online. You 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 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. The vaccines will be given in vaccination centres.