Wales and Scotland have now confirmed they will offer the Covid-19 vaccine to all five- to 11-year-olds.
Scotland announced the news this morning, shortly after Wales confirmed it had also accepted the draft advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) yesterday.
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: ‘Although it has yet to be published officially by the JCVI, like colleagues in Wales we have received advice which recommends Covid-19 vaccination for all children aged five- to 11-years-old.
‘I can confirm that ministers have considered this draft advice and are content to accept its recommendations. 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 scrutinizing the science and providing clear guidance.
‘Discussions with health boards on the best way of delivering vaccinations to five to 11-year-olds have already begun. These will continue and we will provide further information when this approach is finalized. In the meantime, parents and carers of children aged between five and 11 need not do anything. This draft advice does not affect children in the five to 11-year-old age group who have specific medical conditions which place them at greater risk from Covid-19. This group is already being vaccinated.’
There are reports the JCVI announcement has been delayed due to a disagreement with the UK Government. Wales’ health minister, Baroness Eluned Morgan, called the hold-up a ‘shame’ and ‘perplexing’.
‘In relation to vaccination of children, the JCVI has yet to publish its report, although there are lots of clues in The Guardian and other places where there seems to have been lots of leaks come out. It’s a shame and it’s perplexing to understand why that has not been published yet. But I have seen a copy of that advice and we will be commencing the rollout of vaccinations for five to 11-year-olds.’