Nicola Sturgeon announces covid booster vaccine programme for all over 50s

By Paul Hutcheon

All Scots over 50 will be offered a booster jab in the fight against the deadly coronavirus.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today that extra vaccine shots would be rolled out from next week to eligible groups.

The UK-wide Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that boosters should be given to more vulnerable people to maximise protection ahead of the winter.

Concerns have been raised that the protection offered by two jabs is waning and another dose is deemed to be a wise move.

Both the UK and Scottish Governments have accepted the advice.

Addressing MSPs, Sturgeon said: “The booster programme is intended to prolong the protection that vaccines provide against severe COVID illness.

“It will run alongside our biggest ever flu vaccine programme – since both of these programmes are important for individual and public health. Wherever possible, eligible people will be offered COVID and flu vaccines together.”

She added: “Booster vaccines will be offered to all adults over 50, to frontline health and care workers, and to younger adults with certain health conditions...and to younger adults with health conditions that put them at higher risk, and adult household contacts of people with suppressed immune systems.

“The JCVI has also advised that there should be an interval of at least six months between a second dose and a booster dose.

In terms of the order, she said frontline health and social care workers will be able to book their booster appointment online through NHS Inform from Monday:

“Also from next week, residents in care homes for older people will be offered both flu and COVID booster vaccines.

“Adults aged 70 or over, and everyone aged over 16 on the highest risk list will be contacted very shortly either by letter or by their GP.”

She continued: “Other eligible groups - that's all adults over 50, all those aged 16 to 49 with underlying health conditions, adult carers, unpaid and young carers, and adult household contacts of people who are immunosuppressed - will be able to book online from October.”

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