Jackie Baillie wants bigger and better facilities for covid testing.
By Bill Heaney
Due to restrictions around physical distancing and stopping the potential spread of infection, the way in which the Health Board will be carrying out the vaccination programme has changed.
While the majority of those in the 18-64 age group who have underlying health conditions or are pregnant will continue to receive their vaccination at their GP surgery or via maternity services, everyone else who is eligible will be sent a letter with details of their appointment at a local community vaccination centre.
The letters, which are being sent from National Services Scotland, have started to be distributed and those who will be receiving their appointment in this way will do so within the next six weeks.
Parents and guardian of children who are eligible, will either be notified by their child’s school, Pre-local School Immunisation Team or will receive a letter.
Adults aged 65 and up will receive their letter first with the new eligible group of 55-64 year olds receiving their letter slightly later.
To help the vaccination programme in the region to run as smoothly as they can and ensure everyone who is eligible gets their vaccination in a timely way, the Board is asking members of the public to please try to keep the appointment they have been given, so that they can get everyone seen as quickly as possible.
If you receive your letter after your appointment date, please contact us on 0141 201 4180 to reschedule you appointment. Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make every effort to accommodate an alternative appointment.
Meanwhile, Scottish Government responses to parliamentary questions asked by Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, have highlighted the need for permanent and full time Covid-19 testing facilities to be opened to serve Dumbarton, Helensburgh and the Vale of Leven.
The answers showed that on the days that testing was available in Helensburgh, demand rose from 0 tests being carried out on 20 July to a peak of 288 tests on 7 September.
Similarly in Dumbarton, 22 tests were carried out on the first day that access was available on 3 September, rising to 197 daily tests on 15 September.
The response also confirmed that the Vale of Leven is yet to have any mobile testing unit in the area.
Jackie Baillie has argued that the number of tests being carried out in both Dumbarton and Helensburgh highlights an obvious urgent need for testing across the entire constituency.
Jackie Baillie MSP said: “The sharp rise in the number of tests being carried out on the days that local people are able to access the mobile unit shows the urgent need for permanent and full time testing site to be set up in the area.
“Whilst I would favour the Vale of Leven hospital as a central location accessible for the whole constituency, the main thing is that we need something local.
“Our area has been one of the most severely hit by Covid-19. Having constant, easy access to testing is the only way that we can hope of fighting this virus and keeping ourselves and others safe.
“The huge numbers of tests being carried out on the days that these hubs are open would suggest that the most logical thing to do is to have these sites open five days a week instead of just three.
“I have repeatedly called on the Scottish Government to provide our community with easier access to testing.
“I will continue to do so until I feel that local people are fully protected and supported and we have a permanent local testing site at the Vale of Leven hospital or other local site.”