Children attending for Covid-19 vaccination appointments will have to be accompanied by a parent or other adult, under new Health Service Executive (HSE) guidelines.
The consent of only one parent is required, a HSE spokesman has clarified.
Registration for vaccination for 12- to 15-year-olds opens next Thursday and most will get appointments “near their home,” according to the HSE.
From then, parents can either register their child’s details online to get an appointment or go with them to a walk-in vaccination clinic.
Where parents register online, they will be sent a text message with a link where they can give consent before the appointment.
The HSE says that “where possible” the parent or legal guardian should attend the appointment. If they have given online consent in advance, they can ask another adult to bring the child.
However, they will have to attend if they do not give consent online or if they registered by phone.
At the appointment, the child will be asked if they are happy to get the vaccine.
Appointment information will be provided via text. Children are being asked “if possible” to bring a form of identification, such as a passport or birth certificate, with their date of birth on it.
“If these are not available, any identification like a Public Services Card or school ID would be helpful also.
“If 12 to 15-year-olds do not have any identification, the adult who brings them to their appointment can confirm their identity and their age.”
Children are also advised to wear clothes that make it easy to access their upper arm for vaccination, and to eat before arriving in case of a wait.
The HSE says children should delay getting a vaccine if they have Covid-19 by waiting until four weeks has passed since they tested positive or showed symptoms.
They should also delay if they are showing symptoms of the disease or are restricting their movements.
Parents of 12- to 15-year-old children who are not at high risk can decide to get vaccinated now or wait for further information, the HSE says.
“You may decide to wait until more information is available about Covid-19 vaccines in children and young people before bringing them to get a vaccine.
“If you wait, there is a greater risk they could get Covid-19. Their symptoms will most likely be mild if they get the virus, but they will still need to self-isolate. This means they may miss school and other activities.
“Take extra care to protect your 12- to 15-year-old against Covid-19 if you decide not to get them vaccinated. Avoid situations where they could pick up the virus.”