Covid vaccinations will be offered to some children under the age of 12 this week, with Scotland ‘ready’ to jab all five to 11-year-olds if advised.
Appointments will be offered from this week to children in that age group with medical conditions which put them at greater risk from coronavirus.
Children under-12 who live with people who are immunosuppressed will then be offered the vaccine, after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) ruled in December this group should be given it.
And during her Covid briefing on Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland ‘stands ready’ to vaccinate all five to 11-year-olds if the JCVI recommends that.
However parents had mixed views on whether they would be willing to get their children vaccinated when we hit the streets of Dundee to gauge opinions.
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The JCVI is considering evidence on the benefits of the vaccine for children under-12, as the rapidly spreading Omicron variant saw thousands in Tayside and Fife absent from school last week.
Ms Sturgeon said parents and carers of those in that age group already eligible will be contacted and offered their first dose “from this week onwards” – first those who are medically at greater risk and those who are household contacts of immunosuppressed people “in due course”.
She added: “We stand ready to quickly implement any updated advice from the JCVI about vaccinating all five to 11-year-olds.”
Booster jabs for 16 and 17-year-olds and second doses for 12 to 15-year-olds, who had their previous dose at least 12 weeks previously, can now be booked online or are available at drop-in centres.
Appointments for booster jabs are also to be offered by letter to 12 to 15-year-olds at particular clinical risk 12 weeks after their last primary dose.
Both the Scottish Government and UK Government take advice from the JCVI on the vaccination roll-out.
Other countries, including the US, China, Germany and Spain are already vaccinating those aged 5-11 and in the UK the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory has ruled the Pfizer vaccine safe for under-12s.