Over 12s to be vaccinated ‘as quickly as practically possible’ if JCVI gives go-ahead
Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed Scotland will seek to vaccinate all over 12s “as quickly as practically possible” if the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises it to do so.
The UK medicines regulator, the MHRA, last week approved the use of the Pfizer COVID vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds.
The body said it was “safe and effective” following a study involving over 2,000 children.
The JCVI is currently considering whether to recommend that teens be included in vaccination rollout plans.
Speaking in parliament on Tuesday afternoon, the First Minister said: “Vaccination may very well be a really important way of giving children greater protection, minimising any further disruption to schooling and also further reducing community transmission of COVID.
“I can confirm that if the JCVI does recommend the use of the vaccine for children aged 12 and over, we will move as quickly as practically possible to implement their advice.”
Sturgeon also said the Scottish Government remained “optimistic” about continuing to ease public health restrictions going forward in light of the vaccination rollout, despite there being a 50 per cent increase in COVID cases reported in the last week.
She pointed to evidence indicating the link between positive case numbers and hospitalisation was being broken by the jag.
Almost three quarters of Scotland’s adult population have now received the first dose of the vaccine, while just over half have received both doses.
Sturgeon added that 90 per cent of over-60s and 80 per cent of over-50s were double vaccinated.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar called for the First Minister to commit to provide both jags to all over-40s and a first dose to all over-18s by 28 June, the day on which restrictions are to be further eased.
Sturgeon said the decision on easing at the end of the month would be announced in the week commencing 21 June and the government hoped to have as many people double vaccinated by then, “as far and as quickly as supplies allow us do to”.
Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe