Covid Scotland: Covid vaccine appointments sent to 12 to 15-year-olds from Monday
Appointment letters inviting children aged between 12 and 15 for a coronavirus vaccine will be dropping through letterboxes this week.
Drop-in clinics have been available to this age group for the last week and now scheduled appointments, starting this week, are being issued to all those eligible.
Children aged between 12 and 15 will be offered a single dose of the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine.
Parents and carers are being encouraged to accompany their children to community-based appointments where possible so they can discuss any questions they have with staff at the site.
The appointment letters, which will be arriving from Monday, contain an information leaflet, which all parents and carers are urged to read with their children so they can make an informed decision about getting the vaccine.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine to all children and young people aged 12-15 marks a significant milestone in the vaccination programme.
“It has been demonstrated that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective in this age group, and vaccination offers the best chance of protecting young people from Covid-19 and preventing further disruption to education. Many countries around the world have already been safely vaccinating children and young people in this age group.
“Getting the Covid-19 vaccine is a decision to be made jointly between parents or carers and their children, but it’s really important to use reliable and trusted sources such as NHS Inform when making a decision and assessing the potential benefits, risks and side effects.
“Individual choice should be respected for the decisions young people and their parents or carers make in accepting, or not accepting the vaccine offer.
“Where possible, parents or carers are welcome to attend appointments with their children and both can ask questions about any queries they have before the vaccination is given.
“I would like to thank all of the vaccinators and vaccine site staff who have worked so hard to get us to this stage of the Covid-19 vaccine programme.”
In some rural areas, 12 to 15-year-olds will be offered the jabs through their school vaccination programme instead of a community setting and they will receive letters and leaflets home from school.
Parents and carers in this situation who have questions they wish to discuss with a vaccinator before the school session can go to any drop-in clinic and ask for advice.
Children aged 12-15 who have specific underlying conditions or disabilities are already covered by previous Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice and will be offered two doses of the vaccine, eight weeks apart.
The JCVI decided not to recommend mass vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds on health grounds alone, but they suggested that wider issues, such as disruption to education, should be taken into consideration and examined by the UK’s four chief medical officers.
Those health chiefs subsequently said a single dose of Pfizer for people in this age group will significantly reduce the chance of a young person getting Covid and passing the virus on.