The swine-flu vaccination programme is to be extended to all healthy children aged under five after initially targeting priority groups such as those with asthma or diabetes.
The UK-wide policy has been announced in Scotland ahead of a similar announcement in England. About 21,200 in Scotland have the virus, down from about 21,500 in the previous week.
NHS figures show that children under 16 are the age group most likely to be admitted to hospital with swine flu, and 21% of deaths in England are among under-14s.
Says Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon: “I am able to announce that the next group in the population that will be vaccinated, or offered vaccination, is children aged over six months and under five years.
“The trend to the figures is relatively stable this week and, although they can fluctuate, we are prepared for any possible rise in cases throughout winter. This will be helped when the full impact of the vaccination programme is felt.”
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