PARENTS and carers are being urged to book primary school children in for their Covid-19 vaccinations over the Easter holiday.

The jab is now available for five- to 11-year-olds in Somerset as the vaccination drive moves into the next phase.

A total of 44,600 children in the age group in the county are eligible for two doses of the vaccine and families are being advised to make an appointment at one of the many clinics by booking online or by calling 119.

The NHS is also be sending invites over the next few weeks to let parents and guardians know they can now book in for a vaccine and some people will be invited by their GP teams.

Caroline Upton, head of nursing and quality Somerset Mass Vaccination Programme, said : “Our NHS staff continue to work hard across the our county to deliver the Covid vaccine to all eligible groups.

"The five to 11s are the latest to start receiving theirs, helping to protect communities against potential future waves of Covid.

"The vaccine is safe and effective, and I’d encourage all parents to read the information and consider booking their child in for a vaccination at the earliest opportunity.

“We have opened up a large number of appointments across Somerset, making it as easy as possible for families to book their vaccination at a site that suits their needs.

"Our experienced staff are also providing longer appointment times so that families can take the time to discuss their decisions and reduce any stress in their children."

Parents and guardians will be asked to provide consent for their child’s vaccination on the day.

Children aged between five and 11 will be offered two 10 microgram doses, a third of the strength given to everyone over 12, of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine with an interval of at least 12 weeks between doses - or eight weeks for children who have medical conditions that put them at increased risk from Covid-19 or who live with someone with a weakened immune system.

Families will be given a vaccination record card once their child has been vaccinated and are asked to keep it in a safe place.

The vaccination record card provides the name of the vaccine, batch number and the date the vaccine was given.