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Coronavirus / First minister confirms Covid vaccines for 12 to 15 year olds and boosters for older population

NHS Shetland said there will be further information in due course on how people will be called for their appointments

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo: Scottish Government

BOOSTER Covid vaccines for over 50s and single dose jabs for 12 to 15 year olds will be offered in Scotland, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

The announcement followed high-level advice given to governments in the UK.

Meanwhile a further four Covid cases have been confirmed in Shetland.

At the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, Sturgeon said there were early signs that the recent spike in cases was falling.

She also confirmed that the Scottish Government has accepted advice to introduce booster Covid vaccines.

Sturgeon said this will run alongside the usual flu vaccination programme.

Boosters will be offered to anyone over 50, frontline health and care workers and adults with certain health conditions.

The advice is for an interval of at least six months between the second dose and the booster.

Frontline health and social care workers will be able to book their booster appointment online from Monday.

Care home residents will be offered both flu and Covid booster vaccines from next week.

Adults aged 70 or over, and everyone aged over 16 on the highest risk list will be contacted shortly, and folk over 50 and others at risk will be able to book online from October.

Meanwhile the government is also accepting advice on offering one Covid vaccine dose to 12 to 15 year olds.

“We will move to implement the advice as quickly as possible,” she said.

The first minister said drop-in clinics will open on the Scottish mainland for anyone of this age who has read official material on the vaccination and has decided to go ahead with it following talks with parents or carers.

Other young people will be given appointments.

Sturgeon said the two developments were “very significant and very welcome extension of the vaccination programme”

NHS Shetland said it has been planning vaccination clinics in anticipation of these announcements.

“However, we are awaiting further details on the delivery of the programme, in particular around issues such as informed consent for 12-15 year-olds, patient information resources, confirmation of vaccine supply, and the training and prescribing documentation to allow vaccinators to deliver these elements of the programme,” interim public health director Dr Susan Laidlaw said.

“Most people who are eligible for a Covid booster will also be eligible for a flu vaccination and will be offered them at the same time, generally in community-based clinics. We will be using the Gilbertson Park Games Hall for flu and Covid vaccinations, along with other venues.

“There will be further information in due course on how people will be called for their appointments. We ask the public to please not to contact their GP practice or NHS Shetland about an appointment for the booster or the extended age 12-15 programme. Further information will be made available in due course.”

She also said the government is finalising details of Covid vaccination certification scheme for large events and nightclubs.

Meanwhile safety mitigations to keep children, young people and staff safe in schools will be extended until at least the October holidays.

All current mitigations, including the use of face coverings by pupils in secondary school classrooms, will still be required to help keep schools as safe as possible.

In addition, updated guidance will be provided in the information letters that schools are asked to send to staff and the parents of primary and secondary pupils when they are in low risk contact with positive cases in schools.