High vaccination rate for 12-15 year-olds in Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire has vaccinated a higher proportion of 12 to 15-year-olds against coronavirus than almost anywhere else in Scotland.
Figures from the UK's Covid dashboard show 7,784 young teenagers had received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by October 17 – around 62.5 per cent of the age group.
Of them, 0.2 per cent had received both jabs.
The proportion of youngsters vaccinated in Aberdeenshire was among the highest in Scotland, where 47.4 per cent of 12 to 15-year-olds had received their first jab by October 17 – compared to just 15 per cent across England.
Mark Woolhouse, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, said vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds makes them less likely to miss school, or contribute to the spread of infection in the wider community.
Speaking in a personal capacity, Professor Woolhouse added: "The importance of this is not fully clear – though this age group can and do pass infection on they are much less likely to do so than an adult. However, because most adults have now been vaccinated, and one of the effects of the vaccine is to make them less infectious, unvaccinated children are now making a proportionally bigger contribution to overall spread than at any previous stage of the pandemic."
He said the top priority, though, should be improving vaccine coverage among the elderly and vulnerable.
Meanwhile, 74 per cent of 16 to 17-year-olds across Scotland were vaccinated by October 17. In Aberdeenshire, 81.4 per cent of older teenagers were vaccinated.