Children ‘likely to be vaccinated by end of the year’

Jason Leitch said he expects the rollout to be extended to youngsters in autumn AND winter.

Children ‘likely to be vaccinated by end of the year’ Getty Images
Children to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by winter this year.

Children are likely to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by winter, Scotland’s national clinical director has said.

Scientists are currently carrying out trials to get approval for a jab that would be suitable for under-18s.

The vaccine rollout across the UK currently only includes people aged 18 and over, but Professor Jason Leitch said he hopes this will be a different situation by the winter.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing, he said: “There are ongoing trials of vaccination in younger people, right down to small children, run by higher education institutions in Scotland and around the world with the drug companies.

“So in time, I would expect we will almost certainly vaccinate children against Covid-19.

“It might be round two of vaccination, maybe autumn-winter of this year, if all of those trials go well.”

The efficacy of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in children is being tested in a new clinical trial.

It will see 300 volunteers take part to assess whether the jab – known as the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine – will produce a strong immune response in children aged between six and 17.

The Oxford jab is one of three to have been approved for use in adults in the UK, along with those from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.