Any children aged 12 and over can now be vaccinated against COVID-19.
You will receive information and an electronic consent form via your child’s school. If you have missed the opportunity for your child to have the vaccine at school, then you can call us on 01244 397470 to book an appointment at one of our community clinics.
Common side effects
Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short term, and not everyone gets them. With the vaccine we use in under-18s, side effects are more common with the second dose. Very common side effects include:
- having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where the injection was administered (this tends to be worst around one to two days after the vaccination)
- feeling tired
- general aches, or mild flu like symptoms
Your child can rest and take paracetamol (follow the dose advice in the packaging) to help make them feel better. Although feeling feverish is not uncommon for two to three days, a high temperature is unusual and may indicate they have COVID-19 or another infection. Symptoms following vaccination normally last less than a week. If symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, you can call NHS 111.
Less common side effects
Recently, cases of inflammation of the heart (called myocarditis or pericarditis) have been reported very rarely after COVID-19 vaccines. Most of these cases have been in younger men and usually a few days after the second vaccination. Most people recovered and felt better following rest and simple treatments.
You should seek medical advice urgently if your child experiences:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart
If you do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about the vaccination (show them the vaccination card, if possible) so that they can assess properly. You can also report suspected side effects to vaccines and medicines online through the Coronavirus Yellow Card scheme - GOV.uk.
Can you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?
You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine but it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not have the symptoms until after the vaccination appointment.
The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
If you or your child have the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test.
COVID-19 vaccination: A guide for children and young people (pdf)
Simple text - COVID-19 vaccinations for children and young people aged 12 to 15 years (pdf)
What to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination: Advice for children and young people (pdf)