Young people aged 12 or over who live in the same house as someone who is immunosuppressed or who come into face to face contact with them regularly will also be offered two doses.
At the moment, 12-17 year olds who are not in the key vulnerable groups listed above are only being offered one dose of the vaccine. Further advice will follow as to whether or not all 12-17 year olds should receive a second dose of the vaccine once further evidence on effectiveness and safety have been reviewed. At this stage, the evidence strongly indicates almost all children and young people are at very low direct clinical risk from COVID-19, as the incidence of severe outcomes is very low.
What do 12-15 year olds need to do to get the vaccine?
From 20 September, 12-15 year olds can get the vaccine at drop-in centres across Scotland. Health Board vaccination clinics will be in a variety of locations, allowing parents and guardians to attend. Only some Health Boards will be offering vaccination as drop-ins so it's best to check first. You can find your nearest centre here.
From 27 September, all 12-15 year olds will be sent a letter inviting them to an appointment. You can go with them to the appointment.
After scheduled community appointments, there will be a programme of vaccination in schools, to ensure that anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated, but decides that they want to be, gets a further chance.
What do 16-17 year olds need to do to get the vaccine?
16-17 year olds will be sent a letter inviting them to an appointment. They can also register on the online self-registration portal. This is a convenient and immediate way to register for the coronavirus vaccine and receive vaccination appointment details.
What do I need to do if my child is in one of the key vulnerable groups?
If your child falls into any of these categories, you’ll either be sent a letter inviting your child to get the vaccine, or you’ll be contacted by their health professional. You may be asked to go to a vaccination centre, or your child may be able to get the vaccine at home or in their care setting, depending on their needs. You can find out more this and about rearranging your appointment if you need to on the NHS Inform website.
Why are all 12-15 year olds now being offered the vaccine?
Although young people are less likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19, they can still catch it, and the more young people who catch it, the more school they and their fellow pupils miss, due to self-isolation. They can also pass the virus on to other people in their families and communities.
The recent JCVI advice focused only on public health benefits. Additional likely benefits from vaccination include reducing disruption to children’s education and consequent reduction in public health harm.
The UK CMOs looked at wider public health benefits and risks of universal vaccination in this age group to determine risks and benefits. Wider issues relevant to the public health of children and young people aged 12-15 years were also considered, including education, operational and mental health issues.
Do I have to give my consent for my 12-15 year old to get the vaccine?
It’s important that you and your child both know what’s involved with getting the vaccine. You and your child will be supported in your decisions, whether your child accepts or doesn’t accept the offer of vaccination.
Children should make a supported choice, that they and you, their parents or carers, feel comfortable with. Because of this, you can come to their appointment with them to talk about the benefits and risks of vaccination. Vaccinators and clinicians will be able to tell you more and answer your questions, to ensure that you both understand and agree to everything before the vaccination takes place.
The recent increase in cases of COVID-19 means it’s still really important that everyone who’s offered a vaccination takes up the offer. So if you or your child are not sure, remember that by getting the vaccine, your child will be protecting not just themselves but their family and friends as well.
Will the vaccine make them poorly?
All medicines, including vaccines, are tested to make sure they’re safe and effective before they’re allowed to be used. Your child may have a few side effects from the vaccine, such as a fever, but these shouldn’t last long. If this happens, make sure they drink plenty of water so they don’t get dehydrated, and give them paracetamol if necessary. You can find out more about treating the side effects of the vaccine on the NHS Inform website.