High uptake levels in COVID-19 vaccination programme

More than 75,000 people across Forth Valley have now received the Covid-19 vaccine following the expansion of the programme to include those aged over 65 and extremely clinically vulnerable people who were previously asked to shield.

Work is now underway to deliver second doses of the vaccine to some of the initial priority groups starting with care home residents and local health and care staff. First doses of the vaccine will also be rolled out the next priority groups from 1st March 2021. This includes people aged 60 and over and those aged 16 to 64 years with certain underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality and a number of unpaid carers*, subject to vaccine supplies.

Covid-19 vaccinations will continue to be delivered at a number of community venues and GP practices across Forth Valley, including the three Forth Valley College campus venues.

Jillian Taylor, Operational Lead for NHS Forth Valley’s Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “We are delighted at the levels of uptake achieved so far and I would like to thank everyone who has attended a local vaccination session over the last few months.

“I would also like to the thank our local immunisation teams and GP Practice colleagues who are working tirelessly to deliver the vaccine across Forth Valley as well as many council, Health and Social Care Partnership staff, military planners and volunteers who have assisted enormously with the planning and delivery of this large and complex vaccination programme.”

NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Public Health, Dr Graham Foster, added: “Vaccination is a vital step forward in the fight against Covid-19 it is great to see large numbers of local people taking up the offer a Covid-19 vaccine. However, it’s important to remember that it takes two – three weeks for the vaccine to provide protection and you must continue to follow the national guidance as it is not known whether being vaccinated stops you spreading the virus to others.

“We are still seeing high levels of transmission across our local communities so we need everyone to do all they can to limit transmission whilst we continue to roll out the vaccination programme.”

Dr Stuart Cumming, NHS Forth Valley’s GP Lead for the Vaccination Programme, said: “We would like to thank everyone for their patience as we work our way through the priority groups and ask that people do not contact their local GP practice as they will be contacted direct as soon as they are eligible.”

People in the next priority groups and those who require a second dose of the vaccine will be contacted direct over the next few weeks so there is no need to contact your GP. If anyone has any difficulties in attending their scheduled Covid-19 vaccination appointment or need to change it then they can use the online form on NHS Inform website or phone the national Covid-19 vaccination helpline on  0800 030 8013 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).

Further information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme is available on the NHS Inform website www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine

* Unpaid carers will initially be identified through GP records and relevant social security benefits (Carer’s Allowance, Young Carer Grant and Child Winter Heating Payment). Work is also underway at a national level to identify carers not identified through these routes and they will be invited to self-register for their vaccination via an online registering registration form or by calling a national Covid-19 vaccination contact centre.

Picture courtesy of Michael Gillen, Falkirk Herald