Letters offering a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination to all 12-15 year olds who haven’t yet received their jab are arriving from today (Monday).
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. The letters will contain an information leaflet, which all parents and carers should read with their children so they can make an informed decision about getting the vaccine. This information is also available online at NHS Inform.
Parents and carers are encouraged to accompany their children to community-based appointments where possible so any questions they may have can be raised with staff on site.
In some rural areas, this age group 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. In these situations, parents and carers 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.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:
“The roll out 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.”
Children aged 12-15 who have specific underlying conditions or disabilities are already covered by previous JCVI advice and will be offered two doses of the vaccine, eight weeks apart.