Vaccination info on parent carers, 16+ LD and extremely clinically vulnerable children

This update is dedicated to information around coronavirus vaccinations for 3 groups with the intention of clarifying the situation for each group.

  1. Young people aged 16+ with a learning disability
  2. Unpaid carers including parent carers
  3. Children who are extremely clinically vulnerable

DO REMEMBER –   for anyone of any age who is vaccinated it takes 3 weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective and the most current public health rules and guidance should continue to be followed especially Hands – Face – Space.   Until the effectiveness of the vaccines in reducing transmission is properly understood then the rules won’t be fully lifted.

16+ vaccinations
Eligibility in Hertfordshire is for ALL those who are 16+ and on the Learning Disability register at their GP surgery.  These young people are due the vaccine regardless of whether they have any underlying health conditions. 16-18 year olds will have the Pfizer vaccine as it has been tested on this age group.  Please be aware that, for a short period of time, the supply of the Phizer vaccine is limited.
All special schools will be contacted by Learning Disability nurses and visited to make sure that no-one has fallen through the gaps and missed out.

Here is information on the reasonable adjustments that vaccination clinics can take and actions that you can take as a parent to help this go as smoothly as possible.

  • Pre visit to the clinic, drive past or visit and look at what is being done and how it works.
  • Use photos of inside the venue and prepare a social story.
  • Head-phones & music or video on iPad/phone as a distraction
  • Emla cream – this is a skin numbing cream that is available over the counter at a pharmacy for around £4 (contains more than one treatment).  Following the instructions, you rub it on the arm about 3 fingers width down from the top of the arm which is where they will inject.
  • Ask for a quiet space away from the general vaccination area.
  • Ask if vaccination can be done outside on the pavement, in the car or at home.
  • Have an early or late appointment as usually much quieter
  • Time – leave longer for appointment and don’t rush.
  • Inform the young person to ease anxiety by using easy read leaflets to prepare them in advance.
  • Communication – check they have consent and if not then use best interests’ decision.

Easy read leaflets/materials

You Tube  –

The Keepsafe organisation – (as mentioned in a previous email) has downloadable leaflets and posters

Government easy read resources:

HCC FAQS (frequently asked questions)

Unpaid/Parent Carers
National charity Contact have issued the most helpful information for parents around the vaccination of unpaid carers – including parent carers – and also a template letter if you are refused the vaccine.  Remember that as a parent carer you may be eligible for the vaccine but your child under 16 won’t be. This move is to protect children from any issues arising from you, (as their carer) becoming seriously ill with Covid.
Contact information
GPs have been given the green light to invite people in priority groups five and six to have their vaccine – and this includes unpaid carers. It’s great to hear so many of you have already had your vaccinations but we know the process has not been smooth for everyone.
As a result of feedback from parents, Contact has produced a useful template letter to help parents complain if their GP tells them they are not a priority for the COVID-19 vaccine. You will find the template letter on our regularly updated COVID vaccination: Your Questions Answered page.
The good news is that unpaid carers who get Carer’s Allowance are now able to book a Covid vaccine online in the NHS portal:  or by calling 119

Extremely Clinically Vulnerable children and young people.
If your child is currently on this list then you should, by now, have had a letter/email from the Department of Health and Social Care that outlines the situation with regard to vaccinations for this group.  This is what it says:
For children under the age of 12, whilst further research is being done vaccination is not usually recommended.
For children aged 12 to 15 years vaccination may be appropriate for those with severe neuro-disabilities.  This recommendation is for those who tend to get recurrent respiratory tract infections AND who frequently spend time in specialist residential care settings for children with complex needs, where the risk to infection and outbreaks may be high. The JCVI advice is that this decision should be carefully discussed between parents/guardians and the GP or consultant responsible for the child or young person’s care. No other children in this age group are usually recommended for vaccination.
For children aged 16 and over, vaccination is recommended.
Even if vaccinated then these extremely clinically vulnerable children should continue to follow the shielding guidance as the impact of vaccination amongst all groups continues to be assessed.