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Vaccinations to start for 12 to 15-year-olds

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By Fiona Reid
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Vaccinations to start for 12 to 15-year-olds

SCHOOLS will be the primary setting for covid vaccinations of 12 to 15-year-olds in Dumfries and Galloway - starting this week.

And the vaccination programme for the young people will take place over just a two-week period beginning on Thursday, September 30 – using the same well-established approach being employed to provide flu vaccinations to school-age children.

And vaccinations for the age group are also now available via drop-in clinics.

Dr Nigel Calvert is Immunisation Co-ordinator for NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and he said: “We’ve been routinely asked about the likelihood of vaccines being offered to lower age groups.

“Now, acting on the advice of the UK’s four Chief Medical Officers, where one represents each nation, the Scottish Government has decided to extend this offer to 12 to 15-year-olds – noting the likely benefits to health and in reducing educational disruption.”

Uptake of vaccinations has been strong among 16 and 17-year-olds in Dumfries and Galloway, with 75.7 per cent having received a first dose compared to a national average of 59.5 per cent.

And Dr Calvert said: “We’re expecting there’s likely to be a similar high degree of uptake in the 12 to 15-year-old age group. We’ll be looking to promote information to families in order to ensure informed consent, and are making arrangements to send out invitations for children to take up vaccination opportunities in schools over that two week period.

“Younger people generally do not suffer the effects of covid to the worst possible degree, but we do know that anyone can be affected and also the issues posed by Long Covid. We also know that vaccinating helps cut down the spread of the virus, benefitting the wider community and its services.

“If any parents or guardians would like to accompany children to their vaccination and discuss vaccination issues, we would invite them to use the drop-in centres.”

n Information on vaccinations for those aged 12-15 will be made available on the NHS Dumfries and Galloway website for young children and their parents and guardians to review at www.nhsdg.co.uk/vaccines.

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