Covid boosters to be offered to over-18s in Scotland from next week

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Samantha Haynes

By Samantha Haynes

Published: 12/12/2021

- 18:48

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urges older age groups who haven’t yet had the booster to 'please also book now'

Covid-19 booster vaccines are to be made available to people aged 18-39 in Scotland from next week.

Over-30s will be able to book appointments from Monday, with jabs being extended to 18-29-year-olds in the following days.

Announcing the decision on Twitter, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We know just how important a tool vaccination, and in particular the Booster is in our fight against the virus.”

He said more details would follow on boosters for 18-29-year-olds, adding that the jabs can only be given from 12 weeks after a second dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon added on Twitter: “Appointments will open later in week for 18-29 year olds – date to follow shortly.

“If you are in older age groups and haven’t yet had booster, please also book now.”

The move follows a decision by the UK Government to make the jabs available to those in the 30-39 age range in England from Monday.

Ms Sturgeon previously warned that Scotland faces a “tsunami” of coronavirus cases due to the Omicron variant.

The latest statistics show 38 more Omicron cases have been confirmed in Scotland, taking the total to 159.

There were 4,002 coronavirus cases in total reported in the last 24 hours, with no new deaths.

Speaking on the BBC’s The Sunday Show, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the variant is “frankly galloping its way into Scotland and circulating around our communities”.

He said the Scottish Government was looking at the expansion of vaccine passports and other restrictions, but stressed new measures should be “proportionate”.

The cabinet is due to meet on Tuesday morning ahead of a coronavirus statement from Ms Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament in the afternoon.

Mr Swinney added: “The problem we have got here, and the First Minister made this point on Friday in her media briefing, is even if there is a small level of hospitalisation of a very, very big number of infections in our society, that will overwhelm our national health service.

“In the space of a week Omicron has changed from being 2% of the cases in Scotland to yesterday 18% of the cases.

“So the doubling rate is about just over two days and that compares to earlier variants of the virus which were closer to 14 days.”

Opposition parties have warned of the threat to pubs, cafes and other hospitality businesses from new restrictions.

Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “Businesses up and down the country aren’t just dreading the effects of the new variant – they are already feeling them.

“The latest advice is leading to parties being cancelled and bookings plummeting, but the hospitality industry is being left high and dry.”

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