Many families of children with severe physical disability have been contacting their specialist teams to enquire about vaccination for their child against Covid 19.
We feel it is very important for paediatricians to follow the advice of the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health (RCPCH) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as set out in Chapter 14a of the Green Book.
Until the results of vaccine trials have provided us with more clarity on safety and efficacy we would recommend considering vaccination only very rarely for children age 12-15, with severe neurologically based disability, for example children with severe respiratory comorbidity requiring recurrent admissions to PICU for chest infections and non-invasive ventilation.
The highest imperative in our view is to get the carers and parents of children with severe disability vaccinated as recommended in the Green Book:
‘Those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable, including children with severe neurodisabilities should be vaccinated in group 6, alongside adults 16 – 65yrs who are in an at risk group’.
Paediatricians should prompt parents to ensure their GP practice is aware they are carers and therefore arrange their vaccination.
The following paediatricians were involved in this consultation process:
Charlie Fairhurst lead the process with Santosh Mordekar, Lucinda Carr, Daniel Lumsden, Jill Cadwgan, Belinda Crowe, Katherine Martin, Rajib Lodh, Karen Horridge, Claire Lundy, Alison Sansome, Mary Gainsborough, Yasmin De Alwis, Ram Kumar and Toni Wolff.