Covid Scotland: No immediate plans to vaccinate children in Scotland as Pfizer jag approved for 12-15 year olds

It may be some time before Covid-19 vaccines are administered to children in Scotland, the First Minister has said following approval of the Pfizer vaccine in 12 to 15 year olds.

It comes as the Scottish Government announced deployment of the Armed Forces again to help speed up Scotland’s vaccine programme, with personnel supporting NHS Lothian and Lanarkshire for five weeks from Monday.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorised the use of the jab in the younger age group on Friday following a review of its safety, quality and effectiveness.

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Nicola Sturgeon said this will not lead to vaccination of this group immediately. The Scottish Government will wait for advice on deliver of vaccines to 12 to 15 year olds from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Picture: PA MediaPicture: PA Media
Picture: PA Media

Following this, there will be discussions about supply, and priority of other groups.

“If there is a decision to move ahead to vaccinate that age group we will need to consider the supply implications of that, over what timescale that will be possible given the supplies of the vaccine, and how we plan a programme to develop that,” Ms Sturgeon told a media briefing on Friday.

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“There are still steps to be taken, it is not the case that the MHRA decision means that children in that age group will suddenly start to be vaccinated next week or in a few weeks’ time, there is work to be done there.”

The vaccine is already approved for 16 to 18 year olds, and those in that age group with an underlying health condition have already been covered in Scotland’s vaccine rollout.

National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch said: “I don't anticipate 12 to 15 year olds being vaccinated this week or next week, we've still got quite a lot to do with second doses for the at risk population.

“This is still an unusual event, to be seriously unwell as a child, but young people can help us when we get to that age group, because they can help us with the protection of the whole population.

“Every single vaccination helps all of us, not just the individual.”

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