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Humza Yousaf: Almost a third of under-11s vaccinated against Covid

Humza Yousaf said almost a third of under-11s had received the vaccine (Jane Barlow/PA)
Humza Yousaf said almost a third of under-11s had received the vaccine (Jane Barlow/PA)

Some 30% of children between five and 11 years old have received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, Scotland’s Health Secretary has told MSPs.

In a letter to members, Humza Yousaf said the Scottish Government “continues to make progress” on vaccination of children and young people, adding that the youngest cohort were considered to be “non-urgent” by the joint committee on vaccinations and immunisations (JCVI)

Among the 12 to 15-year-old cohort, 67% had received a first dose, while 49% had received a second dose.

As of August 8, 81% of 16 and 17-year-olds had received a first dose, while 62% had received a second and 23% were given a first booster.

Some in Scotland have also been eligible for a fourth dose of the vaccine, including those older than 75, residents of a care home and the immunosuppressed.

Some 93% of those over the age of 75 took up the second booster, along with 86% of care home residents.

Similarly, 72% of the severely immunosuppressed along with 70% of the more broad immunosuppressed group.

“This demonstrates very strong progress and provides an important layer of protection to the most vulnerable, which coincides with the UK currently experiencing a wave of infections due to Omicron variant strains,” Mr Yousaf wrote on Thursday.

The JCVI recommended last month that a subsequent booster programme should be rolled out to protect at-risk groups from spikes in transmission over the winter months.

Mr Yousaf said planning for the programme was “underway”, adding that further detail would be laid out in a statement to be made to Holyrood in September.

“I hope this information reassures you that, guided by clinical advice, we are continuing to plan for the future of the vaccination programme as the state of the pandemic evolves,” he added.

The news comes as the number of infections in Scotland has been reducing in recent weeks.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey released last week found about one in 20 people in Scotland were infected in the week up to July 26, down from one in 19 the previous week.

About 260,800 people were estimated to have the virus in that week, equivalent to 4.95% of the population.