Booster vaccines to be offered in Scotland from Monday

First Minister says booster programme is intended to prolong the protection that vaccines give against severe Covid.

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Booster vaccines will begin being offered in Scotland from Monday, Nicola Sturgeon has told MSPs.

The vaccines will be offered to all adults over 50, as well as frontline health and care workers and to younger adults with certain health conditions that put them at higher risk and to household contacts of people with suppressed immune systems.

Sturgeon also said the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised there should be an interval of at least six months between a second dose and a booster dose.

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

Residents in care homes for older people will be offered both flu and Covid booster vaccines, adults aged 70 or over and everyone aged over 16 on the highest risk list will be contacted “very shortly”, either by letter or by their GP.

Other eligible groups – all adults over 50, those aged 16-49 with underlying health conditions, adult carers, unpaid and young carers and adult household contacts of people who are immunosuppressed – will be able to book online from October.

Sturgeon said: “The booster programme is intended to prolong the protection that vaccines protect against severe Covid illness. It will run alongside our biggest-ever flu vaccine programme since both of these programmes are important for individual and public health.

“Wherever possible, eligible people will be offered Covid and flu vaccines together. To anyone eligible for vaccination please do take up the opportunity.”

Meanwhile, children aged between 12 and 15 will also be offered a single dose of the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine in Scotland from next week.

The First Minister said the Scottish Government was accepting the recommendation of the UK’s chief medical officers and that drop-in clinics, from Monday, will be open to young people of that age group.