Children between 12 and 15 years old to be offered Covid vaccine
Children aged between 12 and 15 in Scotland will be offered one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, the First Minister has confirmed.
From Monday, drop-in clinics will be open to those in the age group who want to receive a jab against coronavirus.
The decision has been made after the UK's chief medical officers recommended the age group should be offered a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
They have concluded that vaccination could reduce disruption to education and, when considered along with the health benefits previously identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said that vaccination of all 12 to 15 year olds was justified.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament: "I'm very grateful to all of the four chief medical officers for assessing the evidence on this issue with such pace and also with such rigour.
"I can confirm to parliament today that the Scottish Government welcomes and accepts this recommendation.
"We believe that vaccination of 12 to 15 year olds is important and we will therefore move to implement the advice as quickly as possible. Our supplies of vaccine are adequate to allow us to do this."
From the week beginning 27 September, letters will be sent to all within the age group inviting them to an appointment at a drop-in centre or vaccination clinic.
Following scheduled community sessions, there will be a programme in schools.
Sturgeon also revealed details of a vaccination booster programme, which will be in addition to third doses already being offered to the immunosuppressed or immunocompromised.
The programme will run alongside the flu vaccine programme and boosters will be offered to all adults over the age of 50, frontline health and care workers, younger adults considered higher risk and to adult household contacts of people with suppressed immune systems.
The JCVI has advised that there should be at least six months between a second dose and a booster.
The level of infection remains high in Scotland, with another 3,375 people testing positive for the virus today, but there are signs that a recent spike in cases is slowing down.
"We're now seeing early signs not just that the rate of increase is slowing, but that cases are now actually starting to fall slightly," thw First Minister said.