The vaccine will be offered to around 4,000 children and young people across Scotland affected by severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s syndrome, underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression, and those who have a learning/ Intellectual disability.
Also to be invited by NHS Forth Valley are children and young people aged 12 and over who are household contacts of persons who are immunosuppressed, to provide indirect protection for that member of their household. A household contact is defined as someone living in the same house, or anyone the person comes in to contact with face-to-face on most days of the week, such as a carer.
Young people aged 16 to 17 years of age who are at higher risk of serious Covid-19 had been invited forward for vaccination, as recommended by the JCVI previously.
NHS Forth Valley will be inviting those that are now 16 who were not vaccinated as part of that earlier offer forward now.
Jillian Taylor, NHS Forth Valley’s operational lead for the Covid-19 vaccine delivery programme, said: “From this week, we will be contacting parents or carers of vulnerable children and young people aged 12 and over to get the Covid-19 vaccine and aim to have the majority of first dose vaccinations complete before schools return.
“Invitations will be extended by letter, phone or through their regular healthcare professional. The vaccine will be administered in the most appropriate setting depending on the child or young person’s care or health needs. That may be in their own house, in a care setting, or at a clinic.
“Those aged 12 and over who are household contacts of someone who is immunosuppressed, or who have regular face to face contact with someone who is, will receive a national letter.
“There is no need for anyone in these groups to do anything, we will be in contact and please do not attend a drop-in clinic as the vaccine cannot be administered to these groups in that setting.
“We would urge those now eligible to get the vaccine to provide the best protection."
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The programme has always offered vaccine to groups where the benefits far outweigh the risks. The research and evidence shows that is the case for young people in these key vulnerable groups and they should now be called forward for a Covid- 19 vaccine.
“I would urge any parent or carer who has a child or young person eligible for a vaccine to visit NHS Inform where they can find the most up-to-date information; and read the leaflet that they will receive with their letter or from their Health Board.
"Parents, carers or young people can also speak to their local health professional to discuss this further if they need to.”