Health board ready to rollout Covid-19 vaccinations for 12-15s

The health board had been gearing up to expand its vaccination programme to younger children – even ahead of today’s (Tuesday) confirmation.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed all 12-15 year olds would be offered the vaccination, with the first clinics expected to open next week.

Ms Sturgeon made the announcement after chief medical officers across the UK concluded the vaccination for these groups was justified.

NHS Shetland’s interim director of public health Susan Laidlaw said her team had already been planning vaccination clinics in anticipation of the announcement.

Dr Laidlaw said the health board had been awaiting clarification on issues such as informed consent, patient resources and confirmation of vaccine supply, as well as the training regime for vaccinators.

Ms Sturgeon said the vaccine supplies were “adequate to allow us to do this”.

​​​​​​​She also said information would be made available online later this week to help young people and their parents make informed choices.

In addition to the advice on 12-15 year olds, the government also received the final joint committee on vaccination and immunisation guidance on a vaccine booster programme.

Ms Sturgeon confirmed booster vaccines will be offered to all adults over 50; frontline health and care workers; younger adults with certain health conditions that put them at higher risk; and adult household contacts of people with suppressed immune systems.

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

Dr 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,” she said.

“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.”

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