Jab appointments to be offered to five to 11-year-olds from March 19

The JCVI has recommended that children in that age category should be given the vaccine.

Coronavirus vaccination appointments to be offered to five to 11-year-olds in Scotland from March 19 iStock

Covid-19 vaccination appointments are to be offered to children aged five to 11 years old from March 19.

It comes after the JCVI last week recommended that children in that age category be given the vaccine.

Appointments will be scheduled according to age with 11 years olds invited first, followed by those aged eight to ten, and then those between five and seven years old.

Where there are siblings, efforts will be made to invite them to back-to-back appointments to avoid multiple trips for families.

Details of how to rearrange unsuitable appointments will be included in the appointment letters sent out.

Children aged between five and 11 who have specific medical conditions which place them at greater risk from Covid-19 are already being vaccinated and will continue to be prioritised.

Vaccinations for all five to 11-year-olds will be delivered alongside second booster jabs for those aged 75 and over, as well as those in specific at risk cohorts.

They will be invited as they become eligible from 24 weeks after their last booster with the first groups receiving blue envelopes with appointments from the second week in March.

Scotland’s health secretary Humza Yousaf indicated that the benefits of vaccination “far outweigh the risks” for children aged between five and 11 years old.

“Throughout the pandemic it has been our intention that we follow the clinical and scientific evidence available to us and I’d like to once again thank the JCVI for their hard work in scrutinising the science and providing clear guidance,” he said.

“We continue to prioritise at risk five to 11-year-olds. The benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks for children in this cohort and we urge parents and carers to read all the information available to them on NHS Inform before they make a decision.

“Appointments for first doses for all five to 11-year-olds will be scheduled from March 19 with older children invited first and families invited together wherever possible.

“This will allow for second doses to be delivered before the start of the new school year provided at least eight weeks have passed since the initial dose.”

Yousaf explained that the high vaccination rates achieved so far have help the country “considerable” on the path back to normality.

He said: “Of course, as we have done throughout the pandemic we will continue to prioritise the people most vulnerable to Covid-19 and boosters for those aged 75 and over and those at higher risk of severe illness will be scheduled for as soon as possible after 24 weeks have elapsed since their first booster.

“Scotland has one of the highest uptake rates for vaccination anywhere in the world and vaccination continues to be the cornerstone of our battle against Covid-19.

“The very high vaccination rates achieved so far have helped us considerably on our path back to normality and we urge everyone to take up their invitation when it is offered.”