Five to 11-year-olds invited forward for vaccination against COVID-19

NHS Forth Valley is now sending out letters with COVID-19 vaccination appointments to all parents and carers of all children aged five to 11.

Children in this age group will be vaccinated in community clinics from 19 March 2022.

This follows advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommending the universal vaccination of five to 11-year-olds.

Appointments are being scheduled and where there are siblings, every effort is being made to invite them to back-to-back appointments to avoid multiple trips for families.

Those who have specific medical conditions which place them at greater risk from COVID-19 will continue to be prioritised.

Details of how to rearrange unsuitable appointments are included in the letters.

Children in this age group are being offered a paediatric dose of the vaccine, which is a third of the size of an adult dose. Those with specific medical conditions or who live with someone who is severely immunosuppressed are eligible for two doses at least eight weeks apart, and those who are severely immunosuppressed are eligible for three doses at least 8 weeks apart. All other children are being offered two doses at least 12 weeks apart.

Vaccinations for all five to 11-year-olds are being delivered alongside second booster jabs for those aged 75 and over and those in specific at-risk cohorts following further recommendation from the JCVI. These individuals are being invited as they become eligible, from 24 weeks after their last booster.

Fiona Coan, NHS Forth Valley’s Immunisation Team Manager, said: “We continue to prioritise those five to 11-year-olds who are at risk, or who live with someone who is severely immunosuppressed. 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 when making their decision.

“All other five to 11-year-olds will receive their appointment letters in due course, 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.”

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “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.

“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.”