Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for children and young people aged 5 to 15

All children and young people aged 5 to 15 (on 31 August 2022) are eligible for 2 doses of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. The number of additional doses they may be eligible for depends on their age and if they have any additional risk factors.

If your child is 5

If your child is aged 5 or older on 31 August 2022, they're eligible for 2 doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

If your child turned 5 after 31 August 2022 and has no additional risk factors, they are not eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.

What are additional risk factors?

Additional risk factors are:

If your child turns 5 before 1 April 2023 and has additional risk factors, they will be eligible for 2 doses of the coronavirus vaccine and a booster dose. If they have a severely weakened immune system, they'll be offered up to 3 primary doses and a booster.

Your child will only be invited for their vaccines when they're aged 5.

Children and young people with additional risk factors

Winter vaccine

Children and young people aged 5 to 15 with additional risk factors are eligible for a coronavirus winter booster vaccine. The winter booster dose will be offered from 12 weeks after the second or third primary dose. This will help to improve protection from coronavirus this winter.

If your child is eligible for a winter booster vaccine they'll receive an invitation letter with an appointment to get the vaccine.

List of eligible health conditions
  • cancers (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • diabetes
  • serious heart conditions
  • chest complaint or breathing difficulties including poorly controlled asthma
  • kidney, liver or a gut disease
  • lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (steroid medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • an organ transplant
  • a neurodisability or neuromuscular condition
  • a severe or profound learning disability
  • Down’s syndrome
  • a problem with your spleen, e.g sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
  • epilepsy
  • serious genetic problems

Time between doses

Children and young people aged 5 to 15 will be offered a second dose of the vaccine from 12 weeks after their first dose.

If they have additional risk factors, children aged 5 to 15 years will be offered their second dose of the vaccine 8 weeks after their first dose.

Recent coronavirus infection

Children and young people aged 5 to 15 years who have recently had a confirmed coronavirus infection should wait 12 weeks from date of test or first symptoms (whichever is earlier) to get the vaccine.

If they have additional risk factors, children aged 5 to 15 years should wait 4 weeks from the date of test or first symptoms (whichever is earlier) to get the vaccine.

Vaccination appointments

All children and young people aged 5 to 15 should now have been invited for a first and second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

If your child has not yet had a first or second coronavirus vaccine dose they can get vaccinated by:

  • phoning the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013
  • attending a drop-in clinic – check your health board's website or social media for local details

Rearranging an appointment

Your child should still go to their appointment if they have a minor illness without a fever. If your child feels very unwell, their vaccine may be postponed until they feel better.

If you were contacted by your specialist, you should phone them to rearrange the appointment.

What if my child cannot attend a vaccination centre?

If you feel your child cannot attend a vaccination centre for physical or emotional reasons, you can discuss their needs with your local health board. Your child may be able to get additional support to attend, or be vaccinated at home.

You can phone the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013. The helpline will give you the number of your local vaccination team or take your number so they can get in touch with you.

Vaccine type

Children and young people aged 5 to 15 years will be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Children aged 5 to 11 years will be given a child-sized dose. A child-sized dose is one third of the dose offered to adults/adolescents (12 years and over).

Children aged 11 years old will receive the child-sized dose of the vaccine for their first and second doses, even if they turn 12 years old before their second dose is due.

Read the patient information leaflet for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (child-sized dose)

Consent

Parents and carers are invited to go with their children to their vaccination appointment. They can ask questions, and discuss the benefits and risks of the vaccine.

Children and young people aged 12 to 15 may be able to give their own consent. It's recommended that the parent or carer agrees too, but it's not always necessary.

Children and young people and their parents or carers should talk about getting vaccinated and come to a decision together.

Read further information about:

Who should not get the vaccine

The vaccine should not be given to children and young people who have had a confirmed severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to:

  • any of the ingredients in the vaccine
  • a previous dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

Children and young people with a history of serious allergic reaction to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can get the coronavirus vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any ingredient of the vaccine.

Tell the person giving your child the vaccine if they’ve ever had a serious allergic reaction.

The vaccine does not contain any animal products or egg.

Preparing for the appointment

The coronavirus vaccine will be given as an injection, normally in the upper arm.

The needles used are small and your child should only feel a tiny pinprick.

Do

  • talk to your child about what will happen during their vaccination appointment
  • make sure your child wears something that makes it easy to access the upper arm
  • let the person giving the vaccine know if you or your child are feeling nervous – they'll be very understanding and can provide support

Information is available to help prepare your child for their vaccine:

Common side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short term, and not everyone gets them.

Further information

Information is available in other languages and formats.

Read the Public Health Scotland leaflet about winter vaccines for children and young people age 5 to 15 with additional risk factors

Last updated:
23 September 2022