Covid Scotland: Vaccine jags for five to 11-year-olds in Scotland from mid March
Children aged between five and 11 will start getting coronavirus vaccines next month – with appointments to be offered out of school hours or in the Easter holidays to allow parents to attend with youngsters.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the move as she gave her latest Covid update at Holyrood.
It comes after experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that jags should be given to primary school pupils.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I can confirm that vaccine appointments for this age group will issue from mid-March.
“To allow parents and carers to attend with children, most appointments will be in the evening, at weekends or during the Easter school holidays.”
The vaccination of five to 11-year-olds will take place at the same time as second booster jags are given to Scots aged 75 and over, as well as those living in care homes for the elderly and those who are immunosuppressed.
For youngsters, those aged 11 will be the first to be invited, followed by eight to 10-year-olds, and then five to seven-year-olds.
However, where families have more than one child aged five to 11, efforts will be made to invite them to back-to-back appointments to avoid multiple trips.
Speaking about the latest phase of the coronavirus vaccination campaign, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Throughout the pandemic it has been our intention that we follow the clinical and scientific evidence available to us and I’d like to once again thank the JCVI for their hard work in scrutinising the science and providing clear guidance.
“We continue to prioritise at risk five to 11 year olds. The benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks for children in this cohort and we urge parents and carers to read all the information available to them on NHS Inform before they make a decision.”
Last week, National clinical director professor Jason Leitch said vaccines have saved the lives of almost 30,000 Scots, as he urged parents to get their children jagged.
He urged parents: “It is my strong recommendation you think very, very carefully about vaccinating your five to 11-year-olds.
“It is unusual, but we are still hearing of children getting quite sick with this disease.”
Appointments for first doses for all five to 11-year-olds will be scheduled from March 19, Mr Yousaf added, saying this would allow for second doses to be given before the start of the next school year in August – with at least eight weeks to be scheduled between the two jags.
The Health Secretary continued: “Of course, as we have done throughout the pandemic we will continue to prioritise the people most vulnerable to Covid-19 and boosters for those aged 75 and over and those at higher risk of severe illness will be scheduled for as soon as possible after 24 weeks have elapsed since their first booster.”
He added: “Scotland has one of the highest uptake rates for vaccination anywhere in the world and vaccination continues to be the cornerstone of our battle against Covid-19.
“The very high vaccination rates achieved so far have helped us considerably on our path back to normality and we urge everyone to take up their invitation when it is offered.”
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