Children and young people aged 12-17 from key groups to be offered COVID-19 vaccine.
Young people with certain conditions are to be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, in line with the latest advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), before the majority of schools return on August 16.
The vaccine will be offered to around 4,000 children and young people affected by severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s syndrome, underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression, and those who have a diagnosis of Learning/Intellectual disability.
In addition, the JCVI recommended vaccinating young people aged 16 to 17 years of age who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. While the vast majority of this group were previously invited in an earlier part of the vaccination programme we will be inviting those that are now 16 who were not vaccinated as part of that earlier offer.
Also to be invited are children and young people aged 12-17 who are household contacts of adults or children who are immunosuppressed. This is to provide indirect protection for that member of their household. A household contact is defined as someone living in the same house, or anyone the adult or child comes in to contact with face-to-face on most days of the week – such as a carer.
NHS Scotland is aiming to vaccinate these children and young people during August 2021 alongside those younger household contacts of people with immunosuppression. Those children and young people with specific conditions and their parents or carers will be contacted directly by their local Health Boards via letter, phone call or by their regular healthcare professional. The household contacts of the wider group of people with immunosuppression will be contacted by a letter from the National Vaccination Programme.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:
“In line with the latest JCVI advice we will now be offering COVID-19 vaccinations to children and young people aged between 12 and 17 from key groups.
“The programme has always offered vaccine to groups where the benefits far outweigh the risks. The research and evidence shows that is the case for young people in these groups and they should now be called forward for a COVID-19 vaccine.
“These children and young people will be able to get the vaccine in the most appropriate setting for their situation. This may be in their own home or a care setting, or at a clinic, depending on their care or health needs.”
“I would urge any parent or carer who has a child or young person eligible for a vaccine to visit NHS Inform where they can find the most up-to-date information; and read the leaflet that they will receive with their letter or from their Health Board. Parents, carers or young people can also speak to their local health professional to discuss this further if they need to.”