New advice from the UK vaccines body allowing some children and young people to receive the coronavirus vaccine will be rolled out in Scotland, the government has confirmed.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has decided children at increased risk from coronavirus will be allowed to receive the vaccine.
It means those aged 12-15 with certain underlying conditions will be invited for a vaccine.
That includes children aged 12 to 15 with severe neurodisabilities, Down’s syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities.
The JCVI is recommending a limited group of children should be offered a Covid jag
It includes 12-15 year olds with severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s Syndrome and multiple or severe learning disabilities
— Radio Clyde News (@RadioClydeNews) July 19, 2021
Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Gregor Smith, also confirmed those 12 and over who live with someone who is immunosuppressed will also be allowed the vaccine.
Dr Smith said: “In line with the JCVI’s most recent advice, children and young people aged 12 to 15-years old who have particular underlying conditions that put them at increased risk of serious consequences from Covid-19 will now be offered the C0vid-19 vaccine.
“Children and young people aged 12 years and over who are household contacts of people who are immunosuppressed will also be offered the vaccine.
JCVI explain updated guidance
“As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to follow the expert advice from the JCVI.”
Dr Smith said work was now underway to deliver the vaccines based on the revised guidance.
Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of the JCVI, said: “The primary aim of the vaccination programme has always been to prevent hospitalisations and deaths.
“Based on the fact that previously well children, if they do get Covid-19, are likely to have a very mild form of the disease, the health benefits of vaccinating them are small.
It remains crucial that everyone who is offered a vaccination takes up the offer
“The benefits of reducing transmission to the wider population from children are also highly uncertain, especially as vaccine uptake is very high in older people who are at highest risk from serious Covid-19 infection.
“We will keep this advice under review as more safety and effectiveness information becomes available.”
Dr Gregor Smith added: “We are already vaccinating young people who will turn 18 by 31st July and we will continue to roll-out invites for those who will turn 18-years-old within a three month window.
“It remains crucial that everyone who is offered a vaccination takes up the offer.”