Scotland to offer all five to 11 year olds a Covid jag
All five to 11 year olds in Scotland will be offered a Covid jag, the Scottish Government has confirmed.
The decision comes after ministers reviewed unpublished advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which recommended expanding the programme to primary school children.
Wales yesterday became the first of the UK's four nations to offer the universal jab.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Although it has yet to be published officially by the JCVI, like colleagues in Wales we have received advice from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all children aged 5 to 11-years-old.
“I can confirm that ministers have considered this draft advice and are content to accept its recommendations. 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.
“Discussions with health boards on the best way of delivering vaccinations to 5 to 11-year-olds have already begun. These will continue and we will provide further information when this approach is finalised. In the meantime, parents and carers of children aged between 5 and 11 need not do anything.
“This draft advice does not affect children in the 5 to 11-year-old age group who have specific medical conditions which place them at greater risk from Covid-19. This group is already being vaccinated.”
According to the latest statistics from Public Health Scotland, among five to 14 year olds there were 224 positive cases per 100,000 on January 27, the highest figure on record. However, that has slipped back down to 66.9 per 100,000 on February 14, with a seven day average of 101 per 100,000.
So far, according to the National Records of Scotland, there have been two deaths of under-14s involving Covid.
Currently, the vaccine is available to children between five and 11 with medical conditions, and under-12s who live with people who are immunosuppressed.
Other countries, including the US, China, Germany and Spain are already vaccinating those aged 5-11.
A UK government spokesperson said: “No decisions have been made by ministers on the universal offer of a Covid-19 vaccine to all five- to 11-year-olds. We are committed to reviewing the JCVI’s advice as part of wider decision-making ahead of the publication of our long-term strategy for living with Covid-19.”