PARENTS in St Helens are being encouraged to book a covid vaccination for their child to give them the best possible protection.

The national booking service is now available to parents and carers of children aged five to 11 following updated guidance from experts.

This recommends that all children would benefit from an offer of the vaccine to help protect against potential future waves of Covid-19 and reduce the risk of children falling seriously ill with the virus.

The NHS has already been vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 who have medical conditions that put them at increased risk from Covid or live with someone with a weakened immune system.

Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, senior responsible officer for the vaccination programme in the north west, said: “Vaccines remain our best defence against Covid-19, and they reduce the risk of children becoming seriously ill if they do contract this virus.

“As Covid cases are rising in the community, I would encourage parents of children aged 5 to 11 to read the NHS information available and book a vaccine to make sure your family and loved ones are protected.

“The vaccine is safe and effective for this age group, and appointments have been made longer so that families can speak with clinicians to make an informed decision whilst making it stress-free for children.

“I am delighted that thousands of newly eligible children have already taken up the vaccination offer, and the Easter school holiday is a perfect time to get them and the rest of the family protected.”

The majority of appointments for this age group will be available at local vaccination centres or community pharmacies outside of school hours, and they are available to book via the national booking service.

There are also convenient walk-in clinics, which can be found at

The NHS will also be sending invites to parents and guardians of eligible children s to let them know they can now book in for a vaccine, while some people will be invited by their GP.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to read the patient and consent information in advance of booking their child’s appointment and will be asked to provide consent for their child’s vaccination on the day.