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Children Aged 12 – 15 to be Offered the Vaccine

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First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced that from this coming Monday, September 20, children aged 12 -15 will be offered a dose of the vaccine.

They will be offered an appointment by letter form the NHS where they can get doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Scotland’s Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf, said: “As the CMOs (chief medical officer) recommended, informed consent must be at the heart of decision making so we will ensure that there is clear communication with this age group and their parents, so they understand the potential benefits, potential side effects and the balance between them.

“A new leaflet from Public Health Scotland will be circulated to ensure parents, carers and young people have all the information they need. Individual choice is central to this, and the decisions of parents, carers and children will be respected.”

Once children aged 12 -15 have their letters inviting them for an appointment the NHS is planning to offer vaccines in schools to give anyone who missed out an opportunity to get the vaccine.

A spokesperson for NHS Scotland explained: “If your child or young person is eligible, you will be contacted by NHS Scotland with your child’s vaccination appointment details. Some children under specialist care will be contacted directly by their healthcare professional and others will receive a vaccination invitation letter.

“Local health boards aim to vaccinate those who cannot attend a clinic in their own home or a care setting. Local health boards will contact the parents or carers of these children directly to organise this.”

The vaccine is not compulsory and in England a parent’s consent is required, however, children have the choice to still get the vaccine even if parent’s have not consented.

In Scotland parents are being invited to come along to their child’s vaccination but consent is not always needed, explained NHS Scotland.

A spokesperson for NHS Scotland said: “It’s not always necessary to get consent from a parent or carer to get the coronavirus vaccine. It’s important to discuss the vaccine and come to a decision together.

“Parents and carers will be invited to accompany their children to their vaccine appointment and will be given an opportunity to ask questions, and to discuss the benefits and risks of the vaccine.”

Mr Yousaf added: “Alongside the booster programme this will be a busy period for our largest ever vaccination programme but work has been underway for some time to plan for this and I am confident our roll-out will continue to be a huge success.”

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