27th January 2022
It has been recognised previously within the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme that a certain cohort of society is housebound or bedbound and so are unable to attend a vaccination clinic in the community. A home vaccination service has been provided for these individuals in two previous phases (for those aged 70 and over, and then for those aged 12 and over).
Phase 7 of vaccination for housebound children from 5 – 11 years will be managed by Mobile Community Vaccination Teams in each area.
On 25th November 2021 the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended granting extension of indication for the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty®® (Pfizer BioNTech) to include children aged 5–11 years.
On the 08th December 2021 National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) published guidance on COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 years.
1. COVID-19 Vaccination is strongly recommended for those aged 5 to 11 years:
– With underlying conditions
– Living with a younger child with complex medical needs
– Living with a person who is immunocompromised
2. For children aged 5 to 11 years, the recommended COVID-19 vaccine is Comirnaty® formulation for children aged 5-11 years (10 micrograms/dose). The dose schedule of Comirnaty® for this age group is 10 micrograms, two doses three weeks apart.
3. Children aged 5 to 11 years who are severely immunocompromised should be given a third dose of Comirnaty® at least 28 days after the second dose to complete the primary series.
4. For Immunocompromised – a Hospital Consultant notifies the CVC of the child’s status. This is being coordinated centrally with CHI who are submitting the details to City West VC who will then flag the patient records as being immunocompromised. (The Regional CHO Vaccination Team will be informed that the child is due an additional dose).
5. Before vaccination, parents/legal guardian should be informed of the known benefits, risks and uncertainties of COVID-19 vaccination.
The decision to accept, defer or refuse vaccination for a child should be respected.
6. Every effort should be made to avoid any adverse impact from the COVID-19 vaccination programme for children aged 5 to 11 years on the routine primary childhood and school immunisation programmes.
To date the HSE Vaccination Programme uses Comirnaty® (Pfizer BioNTech) for adults, adolescents and children aged 12 years and above. The Comirnaty® vaccine authorised for children aged 5-11 years is a different formulation, it contains 10 micrograms per dose and is specifically for children of this age group. The dose contained in this vaccine is lower than that used in people aged 12 and above.
Referral of children requiring a Home Vaccination
Children identified as meeting criteria for home vaccination: Children eligible for dose 1 and dose 2 dose and an additional dose vaccination in accordance with NIAC guidance who now meet the eligibility criteria for a home vaccination service can be referred by one of the following:
– General Practitioner.
– Nominated CHO lead for the CHO Primary Care Service.
– Nominated CHO lead for the CHO Disability Service.
– Nominated CHO lead for the CHO Mental Health Service.
– Nominated CHO lead for the CHO Older Persons Service.
Estimate of Persons to be vaccinated
Phase 7: it is estimated that a total of 160 children will require vaccination as part of this phase of the home vaccination programme.
Timelines for Vaccination
New referrals for home vaccination for Phase 7 are expected to commence from the week commencing 24th Jan 2022 with expectation that new referrals for this phase to be submitted no later than early February 2022. Home vaccination of this cohort is expected to commence from week commencing 24th Jan 2022 and will be completed by the end of February 2022 (or a later date if an additional dose is required).
Click here for FAQs for vaccinators.
In line with vaccine orders, the NIO will provide printed information to those who are involved in the vaccine administration rollout. This information includes a HSE leaflet, individual information leaflet (PIL) from the manufacturer, aftercare leaflet and record card. These will be delivered in advance of the vaccine.