Children aged 12-15 years are being offered vaccination against COVID-19 at their school
Sweden’s Public Health Agency is recommending that children aged 12-15 years be offered vaccination against COVID-19. By vaccinating children, they will be protected against COVID19, and will also be able to continue to attend school and participate in leisure activities. To ensure that all children shall have the same opportunity to receive the vaccination safely, simply and on equal terms, the Public Health Agency is recommending that the vaccinations be given at schools.
Vaccination at schools in Stockholm County has begun
Region Stockholm is responsible for the process of vaccinations at the county’s schools. The County Administrative Board has developed an overall plan, and is coordinating the vaccination providers with the schools. School nurses and vaccination providers are working together to decide when and how the actual administering of the vaccinations will be conducted. It is the vaccination providers that have medical responsibility for the vaccinations.
You and your child will receive all the information you need from the school, in plenty of time before the vaccination. You will receive the information in the school’s regular form of communication. The vaccination is voluntary and free of charge. Please wait until you have received the information from the school. Do not use the consent forms/health declarations intended for other age groups that have been published on 1177.se, or that you may have previously used (for example) for an older sibling. These forms are not applicable to the vaccinations being performed at the school.
What you need to know in order to be prepared:
Information, consent form and health declaration
In addition to an information leaflet, your child will also receive a consent form and health declaration from their school, which you can complete at home in your own time. Please wait until you have received the information from the school.
If the child has two legal guardians, both must sign the consent form. Once provided, the consent for vaccination at school will apply for both doses. The child must have reached the age of 12 years in order to be vaccinated. The reason for this is that the vaccine that is being used has been approved for use from the age of 12 years. Any child who has not yet reached the age of 12 years must wait to receive the vaccination.
Your child is being offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
For children aged 12-15 years, two doses of the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech are being offered. Sweden’s Public Health Agency recommends the use of this particular vaccine as this has been the subject of most studies of the vaccination of children aged 12-15 years. Worldwide, more than 20 million children have been vaccinated with a vaccine that has been approved for use from the age of 12 years.
Has your child ever experienced a strong allergic reaction to a previous vaccination?
The vast majority of children with mild allergies can be vaccinated at the school. Children with severe allergies will be referred by the school nurse for a medical assessment or for an appointment at a vaccination centre, healthcare centre or specialist clinic, depending on the results of the assessment and your child’s individual situation. If you are aware that your child has a severe allergy or has previously experienced a strong reaction to a vaccination, the simplest option is for you to make an appointment using the Alltid öppet app or the telephone booking service, instead of waiting for the offer of vaccination at school.
Side-effects of the vaccine
The vaccine being offered is safe, but it may result in side-effects such as fever or headache. These side-effects are mild, and will usually disappear by themselves. A small number of children have experienced myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle). This is very uncommon, but usually disappears by itself. It is however good to be aware of this, and you should seek medical attention if the child develops symptoms such as chest pain, palpitations or breathlessness within four weeks of the vaccination. It is more common to develop myocarditis after a viral infection (such as infection with COVID19) than after vaccination against COVID19.
Read more about common and uncommon side-effects of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on lakemedelsverket.se (in Swedish only)
Find out the facts, and don’t believe rumours
It is natural to have questions or to feel worried when making a decision about whether or not a child should be vaccinated. A certain amount of what is said about the vaccines is the result of rumours, and may be untrue. It is therefore important to find out the facts for yourself. You will find fact-checked information about vaccination against COVID19 here on 1177.se and on folkhalsomyndigheten.se. You can also find detailed information about the vaccine your child will receive on lakemedelsverket.se.
Read more about the coronavirus vaccines on lakemedelsverket.se (information available in several languages)
No maturity assessments are currently being conducted
At the current time, no maturity assessments are being conducted within the county or at its schools. This means that the only alternative at the moment is the provision of parental consent. If a parent/guardian does not consent to the child being vaccinated, a child aged 15 years or older can personally request an assessment to determine whether they can receive the vaccination. Such a maturity assessment could be conducted in exceptional circumstances. When it becomes possible to undergo a maturity assessment, information will be presented here.
Vaccination at school is a one-off event
Vaccination at school is being provided as a one-off event, and will include both doses. Vaccinations will sometimes be provided during one day, and sometimes across several days, depending on the size of the school. If only a small number of consent forms are received, there may be a need for additional vaccination events at certain schools. If a child has not submitted a consent form or health declaration prior to the vaccination event, they will not be able to be vaccinated in the period between the vaccination events at the school. The same applies to a child who is sick, or who has not yet reached the age of 12 years.
Children who have received their first dose at a vaccination centre are, in the first instance, recommended to book an appointment for the second dose in the same way. It will also be possible for a child to receive the second dose at the school if at least four weeks have passed since they received the first dose. In this event, a new signed consent form and health declaration must be submitted.
Alternative: make an appointment at a vaccination centre
You may, at any time, make an appointment for your child at any of the county’s vaccination centres. Bear in mind that the requirements for vaccination at a vaccination centre are different to those for the school. Find out more here.
Children without a Swedish personal ID number will usually be able to be vaccinated at school
If your child does not have a Swedish personal ID number, or has a reserve number or coordination number, or has a protected identity, they will, in most cases, still be able to be vaccinated at school. In the event that this is not possible, the school nurse will refer the child to make an appointment at a healthcare centre.
The Patient Act is for your protection
Sweden’s Patient Act is to protect you and your child as patients in a care situation. It contains rules concerning consent, participation and your child’s right to information. It also describes patient safety, and the opportunity to submit feedback or complaints.
Read more about the Patient Act on 1177.se (information available in several languages)
A COVID certificate can be obtained for a child
Children can also obtain a COVID certificate. Once you have logged in to the service at covidbevis.se, you can choose to obtain a COVID certificate either for yourself or for your child. When you enter your child’s personal ID number, it will be checked against the records of the Swedish Tax Agency to verify that you are the child’s legal guardian.