The JCVI has concluded that until there is more safety data on vaccines in children, then it is best only to offer it to those for whom there is a direct benefit. They say the vast majority of children will experience mild illness if they contract Covid so at this moment in time, the chance of rare vaccine side-effects is a greater risk.
But there is not universal consensus on this view. Some experts say that more attention should be paid to the possible complications of long Covid in children and the use of vaccines to stem the spread of coronavirus.
The Scottish government has always accepted the advice of the JCVI and will continue to do so here, but the country will face challenges first. Schools go back earlier here and Scotland generally has higher numbers of under-18s starting college or university than other parts of the UK. That could lead to a very disrupted start to term and some students feeling like they are unprotected as they move into halls of residence.
Given some other countries are already routinely vaccinating 12 to18-year-olds, this is one reason why the chief medical officer is writing to the JCVI asking for the decision to be regularly and closely reviewed.