Below are links to the national resources and helpful information regarding the COVID-19 vaccination programme. 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that clinically vulnerable children aged 6 months to 4 years should be offered a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

Although young children are generally at low risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19, infants and young children who have underlying medical conditions are over 7 times more likely to be admitted to paediatric intensive care units.

Can my child (aged 6 months to 4 years) receive a COVID-19 vaccination?
Children aged between 6 months and 4 years, who have certain medical conditions which mean they are at increased risk from COVID-19, will be offered two vaccinations, at least 8 weeks apart. If your child is not at increased risk of getting seriously ill with COVID-19, they are not eligible for these vaccinations. To find out if your child is at risk visit

Which vaccine will eligible children be offered?
In line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice, they will be offered two 3-microgram doses of the Comirnaty vaccine, which is a smaller dose compared to older children and adults.

Why is it important that my child is vaccinated?
While for most young children, COVID-19 is mild, the JCVI has advised that children with certain medical conditions are at increased risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. They can become very unwell and may need to go to hospital if they get the infection. These children should therefore be offered vaccination to help protect them from COVID-19.

How can I arrange vaccination appointments for my child?
It is not possible to book appointments for children aged 6 months to 4 years through the National Booking Service, and children in this age group cannot be vaccinated at a walk-in vaccination site. Local NHS services will invite and arrange vaccination appointments for eligible children aged between 6 months and 4 years old. If your child is eligible, please wait to be contacted.

My child has recently had COVID-19. Can they still receive their vaccinations?
If your child has COVID-19, or you think they might, please wait until they’ve recovered before getting them vaccinated. You should also wait if your child has a fever or seems particularly unwell with any illness. If they have recently recovered from an illness, there is no need to delay vaccination.

My child is at increased risk from COVID-19, but they have recently turned 5. Can they still get their vaccine?
If your child is at increased risk and turned 5 years old on or after 1 June 2023, they will be invited by local NHS services to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they have not had any doses. If your child is at increased risk and turned 5 years old before 1 June 2023, or if they have already had a dose, in most cases, they will have to wait until the autumn to get their next dose.

Why is my child only being offered the vaccine now?
The NHS offers the COVID-19 vaccine in line with Government decisions which are taken following the advice of expert scientists on the JCVI. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency first approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to 4 years in December 2022, concluding it met their standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. Following its approval, JCVI advised a UK rollout to vulnerable children in clinical risk groups aged 6 months to 4 years. The committee considered data from the US rollout, where over one million doses of the vaccine have been given to children of the same age. For more information visit GOV.UK.

The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI)  issued guidance on 3 September 2021 recommending a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the primary course of vaccination for people who are severely immunosuppressed (as defined within the JCVI guidance) due to treatment for conditions such as cancer or for those with long-term chronic conditions where their immunity is affected by medication.

People who have a severely weakened immune system as a result of treatment, may not have the same immune response to the vaccine, and therefore, the JCVI recommends that a third dose will help reduce the risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19, and from spreading COVID-19. 

A series of frequently asked questions can be found below:

  • Who is eligible for it?

JCVI guidance recommends that a third dose is offered to individuals aged 12 years and over with severe immunosuppression, including those who are being treated for conditions such as cancer or for those with long-term chronic conditions where their immunity is significantly affected by regular medication. Severe immunosuppression is defined within the advice section of the JCVI guidance.

Guidance for household contacts of those who are immunosuppressed has not changed. They are recommended to be vaccinated with their first and second doses, in line with current JCVI guidance. Details are available here.

  • Is there a list of conditions and treatments available which identifies people who are considered severely immunosuppressed?

The list has been published by the JCVI and is available here.

  • How will patients know if they are eligible?

Consultants and GPs have been asked to identify patients eligible. Patients will be contacted by their consultant / hospital doctor or GP team who will discuss the timing of the third dose, considering the current or planned immunosuppressive therapies the patient is undergoing. Patients will be given a clinical authorisation letter which they will need to take with them to receive their vaccination.

  • Can patients be vaccinated at a walk-in vaccination site?

clinical authorisation letter will be given to eligible patients and this will act as authorisation to a COVID vaccination site that the patient requires a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals can go to a centre which their clinician has highlighted or, if not specified, to any COVID vaccine centre offering walk-in vaccinations. Patients can find a walk-in COVID vaccine centre here.

  • Can patients self-identify as severely immunosuppressed?

If individuals think they are eligible for a third dose and have not been contacted yet, they are advised to speak to their GP or Consultant.

  • Is the third dose the same as the booster vaccine?

No. The third dose is not the booster vaccine. It is recommended that the third dose should be given at least eight weeks after the second dose and is part of the primary course of immunisation. A booster jab is also expected be offered 6 months after the third dose, but we are currently awaiting JCVI guidance on this.

  • Which vaccine will be offered as a third dose?

JCVI have advised a preference for mRNA vaccines (full dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) for the third dose, with the option of the AstraZeneca Vaxzevria vaccine for individuals who have received this vaccine previously where this would facilitate delivery. For those aged 12 to 17, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is preferred.

  • When will a third dose be offered? What interval will there be between second and third dose?

The JCVI recommends that the third dose should be offered at least eight weeks after the second dose.

Research shows that, as with the interval between the first and second dose, eight weeks has been observed as providing the individual with the most benefits in terms of an immune response. If, however, the patient’s GP or Consultant believes that an alternative interval should be offered, because of ongoing treatment or starting treatment which will suppress the individual’s immune system, then this timing may be altered. Intervals will be considered, considering the individual’s specific health circumstances and an assessment made by their clinician.

Where possible, JCVI recommends that the third primary dose should be delayed until two weeks after the period of immunosuppression, in addition to the time for clearance of the therapeutic agent.

  • Will a booster vaccine also be given?

If you have a weakened immune system and have had a third dose of the vaccine, you can get a booster dose from three months after your third dose. You can then also get another booster around six months after this fourth dose.

Your GP or hospital specialist will invite you for your booster dose when it's due. If you have a letter from your GP or hospital specialist inviting you for an additional dose, you can get your booster at a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site. You'll need to bring your letter with you.

  • If a severely immunosuppressed individual has had a good immune response to the first two doses, will they still be offered a third dose?

Some people who are immunosuppressed may not generate a good immune response regardless of the number of vaccine doses administrated. However, data is not currently available to reliably identify who might, or might not, benefit from a third primary dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The JCVI guidance highlights published studies describing the effect of a third dose of mRNA vaccine in persons who are immunosuppressed reporting increased immune responses in varying proportions. JCVI guidance recommends that a third dose will be offered to individuals aged 12 years and over with severe immunosuppression (as defined within the JCVI guidance). 

Support the COVID-19 vaccination programme 

Are you interested in volunteering to support the COVID-19 vaccination programme? There are both paid and unpaid roles available. 

You can find out more about opportunities locally here.

Alternatively visit the NHS England and NHS Improvement opportunities page here.


COVID-19 vaccination scam alert

We are aware that some people have received fraudulent calls and text messages offering them a COVID-19 vaccination. In some cases, people are asked to press a number on their keypad or to send a text message to confirm that they wish to receive the vaccine.

Doing so is likely to result in a charge being applied to their phone bill. In other cases, callers are offering the vaccine for a fee or asking for bank details. People are warned to be alert to these scams.

The NHS will:

  • NEVER ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine.
  • NEVER ask for payment for the vaccine or for your bank details.

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud at on 0300 123 2040.

Where the victim is vulnerable, report it to Hampshire Constabulary online at or by calling 101.


Where can I get more information on getting vaccinated?

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline can help you with finding your nearest clinics, getting information in other languages such as Polish, Arabic, Chinese, Bengali and more, as well as sharing the latest information on eligibility. 

You can contact the helpline on 0300 561 0018 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm at weekends. 

Get the latest updates and advice on the vaccine programme from:

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