Administering COVID-19 vaccines to children and young people

Tim Meadows, Medicines Information Pharmacist, Midlands and East Medicines Advice Service (East site)Published Last updated See all updates

Information on administering COVID-19 vaccines to children and young people. Applies to all COVID-19 vaccines.

Choice of needle

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA – formerly known as PHE) Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (the Green Book) states that for intramuscular (IM) administration of vaccines in children and young people a 25mm 23-gauge (blue) or 25mm 25-gauge (orange) needle should be used.

Needle length

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (the Green Book) states that for intramuscular (IM) injections the needle needs to be sufficiently long to ensure that the vaccine is injected into the muscle, or deep into subcutaneous tissue.

The use of 25mm needles has been shown to reduce local vaccine reactogenicity.

Needle gauge

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (the Green Book) states that a 23-gauge or 25-gauge needle is recommended for intramuscular administration of most vaccines.

Use in conjunction with other material

Information on vaccine administration for individuals at extremes of bodyweight.

Administering COVID-19 vaccines to individuals at extremes of bodyweight

Information on vaccine administration and priority schedule for individuals at extremes of bodyweight. Applies to all COVID-19 vaccines.

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