Covid boosters offered to over 70s and over 16s at high risk

Invitations are now being issued to those eligible either by letter or by their GP.

Covid boosters offered to over 70s and over 16s at high risk iStock

Coronavirus booster jabs are now being offered to people aged 70 and above – as well as those aged 16 and older who are at highest risk.

Invitations are now being issued to those eligible either by letter or by their GP, with first appointments being scheduled from October 4.

It comes as the Scottish Government publishes its Autumn and Winter Vaccination Strategy.

The strategy includes widening the eligibility criteria to offer vaccines to all 12-17 year olds.

It also sets out plans for administering third primary doses to people who are immunosuppressed and boosters for all those eligible.

The document also shows how the Covid-19 programme will be delivered alongside wider vaccination services including Scotland’s biggest ever seasonal flu programme.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf praised the work of those involved in delivering the vaccination programme.

“I would like to thank everyone in Scotland who has come forward for their Covid-19 vaccination so far and of course all those involved in the delivery of the programme,” he said.

“It is testament to their hard work and dedication that more than eight million Covid-19 vaccinations – both first and second doses – have now been administered in Scotland.

“I welcome the latest Audit Scotland report recognising the excellent progress, strong partnership working and planning which has helped us deliver a successful programme.”

Yousaf explained that getting fully vaccinated remains the best way of protecting against Covid-19.

He said: “We have taken into account what we have learned so far in drawing up our Autumn and Winter vaccination strategy.

“The vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe disease, and getting fully vaccinated remains the best way to be protected against the virus.

“In response to advice from the JCVI we are now progressing Scotland’s booster programme. This will give everyone aged over 50 or at increased risk, some further protection.”

The health secretary also outlined the importance for people to get their flu vaccination if eligible.

“I urge anyone who is eligible and not yet vaccinated to book an appointment or attend a drop-in clinic – check NHS Inform or your local board’s website and social media channels for details of how and where to get the vaccine in your area,” said Yousaf.

“Likewise, this year more than ever, it is important to get the flu vaccine if you are eligible to ensure maximum protection this autumn and winter.

“The newly published strategy outlines all the efforts being made to encourage uptake and deliver Scotland’s largest ever vaccination programme and anyone eligible who wishes to be vaccinated, can come forward.”