Answers to your questions about Covid in Scotland

By Paul O’Hare
BBC Scotland

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BBC Scotland has been asking you what you want to know about Covid in Scotland.

We have received thousands of questions on the subject during the pandemic. Here are some of the most recent ones we have answered.

When will secondary school pupils in S1 who are still 11 be vaccinated? Morag, Bearsden

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There is no vaccine currently approved for under-12s in the UK.

Globally the vaccination programme has also focused on those aged 12 and above.

In the US, for example, more than 10 million over-12s have received the jab after experts concluded the benefits of protecting against Covid illness and its complications “far outweigh” the small potential risk of an adverse reaction to the vaccine.

France, Italy, Canada, Spain and Israel are all vaccinating this age group for the same reason.

Will 12-15-year-olds need to have the jab to get into a football match? Laura, Castle Douglas

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Under 18s are currently exempt from Scotland’s vaccine passport scheme so they will not be required to show proof of vaccination before a football match featuring a crowd of more than 10,000.

How the scheme will work in practice at matches remains unclear after the head of Scotland’s professional football league has said it would be “very difficult” to check that all fans have a vaccine passport.

However, on Monday Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said that large scale events could “potentially” feature Covid passport spot checks in a bid to prevent lengthy queues and possible disorder.

Who has the final decision on whether to take the vaccine? Parents or children? Nichola, Dumfries

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The vaccine is likely to be given in schools and parents will be asked to give consent.

But if the child and parent have different views, the child can give consent themselves if they are considered competent.

The NHS says that children under 16 can consent “if they’re believed to have enough intelligence, competence and understanding to fully appreciate what’s involved in their treatment”. This is known as being “Gillick competent”.

Those aged 16 and 17 do not need the permission of a parent to have the vaccine, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Are facemasks mandatory inside theatres? Anne, Glasgow

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Face coverings must continue to be worn by law in most indoor public places in Scotland.

These include indoor communal spaces, workplaces and public transport unless you are exempt for specific circumstances.

This includes theatres, cinemas, dance halls, libraries and public reading rooms, museums and galleries, comedy clubs, concert halls and nightclubs.

There is a specific exemption from wearing a face covering for a person who is seated at a table in a hospitality setting, such as a café, bar or restaurant.

They also can be removed for eating or drinking, whether standing or seated, and for dancing in a nightclub or music venue.

Where do we get our passport to say we have had our two vaccinations? Morag, Kirkcaldy

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Covid vaccination certificates – so called Covid passports – will be introduced from 1 October.

The new rules mean people in Scotland over the age of 18 will need to show they are fully vaccinated before they are allowed entry to: Nightclubs and comparable venues; adult entertainment venues; unseated indoor live events for more than 500 people; unseated outdoor live events for more than 4,000 people; and any event for more than 10,000 people.

An app will be made available to venues from 13 September, enabling staff to check customers’ QR codes.

From 30 September, customers can download an NHS Scotland Covid Status App to show their vaccination QR codes. From that date, the current downloadable PDF version available via the NHS inform website will be switched off.

Anyone unable or unwilling to use the app can request a “secure un-editable paper record of vaccination” instead.

When will over 75s get our booster? Janet, Falkirk

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A booster campaign for over 50s will start this month in a bid to control the pandemic through the winter.

The move, confirmed on Tuesday by UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid, follows advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

The booster will be a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine, regardless of which vaccine people had previously.

It will be administered at least six months after a second dose.

How many vaccinations will young people receive? Kirsty, Paisley

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All over-18s across the UK can have two Covid vaccine doses.

But 16 and 17-year-olds are initially being offered one dose, with the intention of having a second at a later date.

Those in the 12-15 age bracket will also be offered a single jab.

Under-18s are currently being offered Pfizer, although the Moderna vaccine has also been authorised for use in children in the UK.

Will Scotland’s new vaccine passport QR code be readable in France? Charles, Blairgowrie

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The original Scottish vaccination certificates could not be read by the French Tous Anti Covid app, unlike the NHS app used in England and Wales.

However, the Scottish government has confirmed the addition of 2D Barcodes (also known as QR Codes) to Scotland’s certification process adheres to EU standards.

Latest guidance states they have been successfully tested with a number of European nations and provide additional security features that help ensure the validity of the certificate.

Do you have a question about the Covid pandemic in Scotland?

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