A COVID-19 winter booster campaign is being planned by the Scottish Government on the back of expert advice.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that, in order to maximise protection for the most vulnerable, boosters should be offered later this year to certain priority groups.

The Government has now said it is working closely with NHS boards to plan for the rollout.

Fourth doses of a vaccine are currently being offered to those aged 75 and over and people at highest risk.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The Scottish Government welcomes the interim advice from the JCVI that, in order to maximise protection in those most vulnerable to serious illness, COVID-19 booster vaccines should be offered to certain priority groups from this autumn. Prioritising those most at risk has been our approach from the outset.  

“We will work closely with NHS boards to plan for this booster campaign in line with this interim advice and we stand ready to act on any further advice on offering boosters to additional groups in the future.

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“Vaccination has been our most effective tool against coronavirus. However, the degree of protection offered wanes over time, which is why booster vaccination is needed to maintain the best protection against COVID-19 for those at highest risk of severe effects of the virus.

“Fourth doses of the vaccine are currently being given to those aged 75 and over and people at highest risk. These additional booster doses improve your level of protection significantly and are the best way to protect your health and those around you. 

“We continue to encourage everyone to receive the doses they are eligible for as and when they become available.”