Covid Scotland: Children aged 12-15 to be eligible for vaccine in hope of avoiding school closures

By Torcuil Crichton & Sian Traynor

Children aged 12-15 in the UK will be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine in the coming weeks to help prevent school closures.

The decision came today from the four chief medical officers around the UK, which confirmed that around three million youngsters will now be offered the jab.

Earlier this month, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) had stated that it was not necessary to vaccinate the age group due to the very small benefit concerning health.

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However, the board had advised health officers to look at the wider issues surrounding vaccination, such as the impact on disruption to education.

On Monday (September 13), it was then decided that teenagers will be offered one single dose of the Pfizer vaccine, however the dose is not compulsory.

According to the Record, it is thought that the jabs will be offered through the schools vaccination programme.

With the green light now official, Jason Leitch, Scotland's national clinical director, has said Scotland is “ready to go” with a Covid-19 vaccination programme.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had urged the expert body to approve jabs as Scotland faced a rise of covid infections after children returned to the school after the summer holidays.

Meanwhile scientist whose modelling was instrumental to the UK going into its first lockdown said levels of immunity in the UK were falling behind some European countries that had inoculated teenagers faster than us.

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Professor Neil Ferguson said the UK had been leading in Europe on vaccination until recently but other countries such as Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Ireland “have got higher vaccination levels than us and that’s largely because they have rolled out vaccination of 12- to 15-year-olds faster than us.

He said: “They also vaccinated more recently, and we know now that vaccine effectiveness decays over time, we always expected that, and so they have more immunity in the population.”


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