First Minister to give Covid update to parliament as teachers back jabs for over 12s
Nicola Sturgeon is likely to announce a major expansion of the Covid vaccine programme this afternoon, with booster jabs for the over-50s and first doses offered to the over 12s.
The First Minister’s update to MSPs this afternoon comes after the UK’s four Chief Medical Officers said offering teenagers inoculations could help avoid disruption to their education, bringing.
Last night, the UK government said they would accept the recommendation. The Scottish Government has said it will make its decision as soon as possible.
Ministers have previously said they ate ready to begin vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds immediately.
In a joint press conference with his counterparts in Wales, England and Northern Ireland, Gregor Smith, Scotland’s chief medical officer, said that while the benefit of vaccines for over-12s was “marginal”, it was still better to have the jab.
Smith said: “Informed consent in this context is really important, particularly when there is a marginal benefit. We should not mistake that for no benefit at all, that’s the first really important point in this.”
Larry Flanagan, the EIS general secretary, welcomed the development.
He told the BBC: “The very high level of pupil infection at the moment is a cause for concern, because in secondary schools teachers will be in contact with over a hundred pupils in the course of a normal day.
“And if there are high infection levels amongst those pupils there is a greater risk to teachers and to other support staff, so reducing that risk through the vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds is a very welcome step.”
South of the Border, Boris Johnson is expected to detail the UK Government’s Covid winter plan.
It’s expected that will include plans for a UK wide booster jab programme, which will see a dose of Pfizer to be given to the over 50s at least six months after their second dose.