Children aged from 5 to 11 years old with specific medical conditions which put them at greater risk of severe illness from coronavirus are to be offered a Covid-19 vaccination.

The roll out of vaccinations to this group of local young people follows recent recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The JCVI is not currently recommending vaccination for all five to 11 year olds. The offer is currently only being made to children in the "at risk" group.

Ayrshire parents and guardians of eligible children will be contacted by letter with details on how to book an appointment.

Lynne McNiven, public health director of NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said: “Preparations are well underway in our immunisation teams to welcome young people age five to 11 who have specific medical conditions which place them in the group more at risk from coronavirus.

"Parents and guardians will receive a national letter with details on how to make arrangements for vaccination.

"These blue envelopes are arriving to Ayrshire addresses over the coming days and weeks.

“It may be that for some people in this group it is more appropriate to be vaccinated in their own home or care setting rather than at a vaccination clinic, as they may have profound health or care needs.

"Our teams are happy to discuss any aspect of the vaccination process for families wishing to explore whether vaccination is appropriate for their child and if so, the best way to arrange the appointment.

“You can also check online whether you or your child has an underlying health condition that makes them eligible for vaccination in Scotland.

"I’d urge anyone who wants to check to complete the self help guide on the NHS Inform website.

“Vaccination remains our best protection against Covid-19 and I’d encourage everyone eligible to come forward.”

All the vaccines licenced for use in the UK have been through the normal rigorous steps to ensure their safety and efficacy before being rolled out to the public.

Residents who are going for vaccination will receive information about common side effects as well as the chance to discuss any concerns they might have with a member of the vaccination team on the day.