All adults should be offered a coronavirus booster vaccination by the end of January, the Scottish Government has announced.
Scotland follows the rest of the UK in confirming that over-18s will be eligible for a third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine three months after their second.
The UK-wide Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that a third dose will help increase adults’ protection levels following the emergence of the new Omicron variant.
A total of nine cases of Omicron have been discovered in Scotland – all linked to a single, private event on November 20 – although First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned of the possibility of “many more” people being infected.
Confirming the plan to follow the JCVI advice to offer boosters to all eligible over-18s, a Scottish Government spokesman said: “Scotland already has the highest vaccination rate of all UK nations for first, second and third doses. The winter vaccination programme has already delivered more than 1.6 million booster doses to the most vulnerable groups.
“We are aiming to offer the booster vaccine to everyone aged 18 or older who is eligible by the end of January, in line with the JCVI’s advice, and we will confirm our approach to deployment very soon.
“We will continue to do all that we can to make sure people in Scotland are offered the greatest possible protection from vaccination, as quickly as we can.”
According to the JCVI guidance, the booster doses should be given no sooner than three months after a person’s second dose of an original vaccine – halving the time previously recommended.
Young people aged 12 to 15 should be offered a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, no sooner than 12 weeks after their first dose.