Covid: Booster jabs to be rolled out in Scotland and large lectures scrapped

Large in-person lectures will not be held at colleges and universities in Scotland when they return for the new term, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister told MSPs today that, due to fears of a rise in Covid-19 cases, a mixed learning model will be put in place while physical distancing will continue to be in place.

She also announced that Scots over the age of 50, working in frontline health care or with specific health conditions will be offered a booster vaccination.

The First Minister said: "As a precaution at this stage, colleges and universities won't be holding large in-person lectures for now.

"Instead, there will be a mix of online and in-person learning - with institutions themselves deciding the level of in-person teaching that they will offer during this term.

"In addition, physical distancing will remain in place on campuses and face coverings will be required in indoor public spaces."

On vaccines, she said: The First Minister told MSPs on Tuesday: "Booster vaccines will be offered to all adults over 50, to frontline health and care workers, and to younger adults with certain health conditions, to younger adults with health conditions that put them at higher risk, and adult household contacts of people with suppressed immune systems.

"The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has also advised that there should be an interval of at least six months between a second dose and a booster dose."

Health workers will be able to book their boosters from September 20, along with care home residents and those in receipt of regular flu jabs, while those over 70 or at high risk will be contacted by their GP soon, the First Minister said.

Other groups - including all adults over 50, those with underlying conditions, adult carers, unpaid and young carers or those who live with someone who is immunosuppressed - will be able to book a jag online from October.

Ms Sturgeon also announced that no changes will be made to Covid-19 restrictions in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon

She said that following a meeting of her cabinet for the regular review, no new measures will be put in place.

The decision comes as Scotland is still in the midst of a spike in cases, although the infection level is coming down, the First Minister said.

She added that efforts to stop the spike of Covid-19 cases appeared to be working.

The average number of daily cases in Scotland has dropped to 5,506 per day in the week ending September 11, compared to 6,290 the previous week.

The First Minister said: "I am grateful to everyone - organisations, businesses and individuals - who has taken extra care in recent weeks to try to stop the spike.