Scotland backs vaccines for five to 11-year-olds as England decision imminent

England is expected to make its announcement later on Wednesday.

16 February 2022

Children aged five to 11 in Scotland are the latest to be offered a Covid-19 vaccine, with ministers in England expected to announce their decision later on Wednesday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland would follow Wales in accepting the recommendations from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which submitted its verdict to ministers more than a week ago.

England is expected to make a similar announcement later on Wednesday following reports of wrangling within government.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I can confirm that ministers have considered this draft (JCVI) advice and are content to accept its recommendations.”

She added: “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.”

Discussions with health boards on the best way of delivering vaccinations to five to 11-year-olds have already begun, Ms Sturgeon said.

On Tuesday, Wales’s health minister Eluned Morgan said it was a “shame” and “perplexing” that the JCVI advice had not been published earlier as she announced jabs would be available in Wales.

The UK medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), approved the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for use in children aged five to 11 last year.

After the announcement, the JCVI said the vaccine should be offered to at-risk children in this age group, and thousands have been vaccinated already.

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