THE First Minister has said that if the Pfizer vaccine is signed off for use on 12 to 15-year-olds by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the Scottish Government will move as "quickly as possible to roll it out".

Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement in a statement to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, during an update on the state of the pandemic as a whole, and said that advice from the JCVI would be key in getting the ball rolling.

Last week, it was announced that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use among 12 to 15 year olds.

And now, after confirming there will be no changes to level restrictions this week, the First Minister signalled the Scottish Government's willingness to roll out the vaccine programme for teenagers once the JCVI give them the go ahead. 

READ MORE: Children ‘left behind’ in Covid-19 vaccination programme – JCVI expert

Sturgeon said: "Last week the medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency approved the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for use among 12 to 15-year-old’s, that is also really good news as it indicates that particular vaccine is safe for use in children of that age.

"The Scottish Government is now awaiting advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on the vaccination of children in those age groups. I’m sure everybody will agree that it is vital that we continue to rely on expert advice in all of our vaccination decisions. 

"However, vaccination may well be a very important way of giving children greater protection, minimising any further disruption to schooling and also reducing community transmission of Covid.

The National:
"And so I can confirm that if the JCVI does recommend the use of the vaccine for children aged 12 and over, we will move as quickly as practically possible to implement their advice.

"For the moment, we continue to focus on vaccinating all adults as quickly as possible."

It comes as 3,403,866 people received the first dose of the Covid vaccination and 2,282,203 have received their second dose, according to the latest government figures. 

More to follow...