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Eligibility for the vaccine

Wales is following the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice on eligibility which is based on evidence on who is most at risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19.  

Adults 

 All adults aged 18 and over have now been offered two doses of the vaccine in Wales.  

Anyone who has not yet received their vaccination should contact their health board for an appointment. They will also be able to give you information about walk-in centres if available in your area. 

Please click the appropriate health board link here.

You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are: 

  •  self-isolating
  •  waiting for a COVID-19 test result or 
  • within 4 weeks of having a positive COVID-19 test  or symptoms

Children and young people 

All children and young people aged 12-17 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. These include:  

Children and Young people aged 12 to 17 years who are not at greater risk of serious illness from COVID infection should be offered their first and second dose of Pfizer vaccine 12 weeks apart.  This interval may be reduced to eight weeks in healthy under 18 year olds during periods of high incidence or where there is concern about vaccine effectiveness (e.g. a new variant).

Children and young people aged 12-17 with certain health conditions are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 and are recommended 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine 8 weeks apart. These include: 

  • cancers (such as leukaemia or lymphoma) 
  • diabetes 
  • serious heart problems 
  • 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, eg sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed 
  • epilepsy 
  • serious genetic problems 

(For more information go to the Green Book Clinical risk groups for children aged 12-15 years P18, table 4 and Clinical and other risk groups for individuals aged 16 years and over P14, table 3.

 How do I get the vaccine if I am 12 – 17 years old?

There is no need to call your GP to ask about an appointment. You will be contacted by your health board about when and where you can get vaccinated.
This will vary depending on where you live in Wales, but it will probably be in a vaccination centre, a school setting, or a walk in vaccination centre. 

If you are 12-17 years old you should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are: 

  •  self-isolating
  • waiting for a COVID-19 test result or have symptoms

If you are not in a group that is at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19 you need to wait 12 weeks following COVID infection before getting your vaccine. During periods of high incidence or where there is concern about vaccine effectiveness (e.g. a new variant) this may be reduced to 8 weeks. You need to wait 4 weeks after COVID infection before vaccination if you are in a group that is at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

The Letter from the UK Chief Medical Officers to the UK Health Ministers on COVID-19 vaccination of 12 to 15 year olds can be found at this link: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-vaccination-of-children-and-young-people-aged-12-to-15-years-against-covid-19 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice can be found at these links 

JCVI statement on COVID-19 vaccination of children and young people aged 12 to 17 years: 19 July 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 

JCVI statement on COVID-19 vaccination of children aged 12 to 15 years: 3 September 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

COVID-19 vaccination in children and young people aged 16 to 17 years: JCVI statement, November 2021-GOV.UK

JCVI advice on the UK vaccine response to the Omicron variant - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Severe immunosuppression – third primary dose

People who were severely immunosuppressed (had a very weakened immune system because of a health condition or medical treatment) when they received the first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine may not have made a good immune response to the vaccine. 

The JCVI have recommended that these individuals aged 12 years and over will need a third primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This includes those who had or have:

  • blood cancers (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • lowered immunity due to treatment (such as high dose steroid medication, biological therapy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy)
  • lowered immunity due to inherited disorders of the immune system
  • an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • disease that affects the immune system (such as poorly controlled HIV)
  • other disease or treatments (as advised by a specialist)

This third dose is not a booster – it is an additional dose of vaccine which aims to increase levels of protection for these individuals. Severely immunosuppressed individuals who are 16 years and older are  eligible for a booster from at least 3months after their third primary dose. 

A Booster dose for those aged 12-15 who are severely immunosuppressed is under consideration by the Joint Committee of Vaccinations and Immunisations, waiting on further advice.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advice about this can be found here:

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice on third primary dose vaccination - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

Autumn booster programme 

 The JCVI has recommended a COVID-19 booster programme starting in the autumn of 2021. Welsh Government have accepted that advice. The eligible groups for the autumn booster campaign are all adults over the age of 18 years. Appointments for those will be scheduled by your health board in line with the latest JCVI advice and in accordance with age and clinical vulnerability.   

If you're eligible for a COVID 19 booster vaccine, you will be contacted by your health board for an appointment. Please wait to be contacted. You are advised to take the appointment offered and prioritise it ahead of other activities where possible. Cancelling or delaying an appointment means someone else may have to wait longer to get protected.

Read the Welsh Government’s announcement in full here and further advice below:

Written statement: COVID-19 Vaccination – JCVI further advice on boosters (29 November 2021) | GOV.WALES

Recent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advice:
Update to JCVI advice on booster vaccination in adults, 15 November 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

JCVI advice on the UK vaccine response to the Omicron variant - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)