BBC REPORTS VACCINE DROP IN CLINICS NO MORE, DEEMS HEALTH BOARD


Young people are now to receive blue envelopes offering Covid vaccine appointments.

BBC Scotland is reporting that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which covers a population of almost 1.2 million, including West Dunbartonshire, and NHS Lanarkshire, which looks after 655,000, have nowhere for people to walk in and get a Covid jab.

NHSGGC, which employs 38,000 staff, says on its website that no drop-ins are currently scheduled.

NHS Lanarkshire’s site says no clinics will be offered after 1 October.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, right,  announced at her coronavirus update on 14 September that the Covid vaccine would be made available to 12-15-year-olds at drop-in clinics from Monday 20 September.

From 27 September, formal invite letters would be sent out to that age group.

Teenagers in those health board areas have been able to access drop-in clinics for less than two weeks.

NHSGGC website
The NHSGGC website says no drop-in clinics are currently scheduled.

It comes on the day the Scottish government’s vaccine passport scheme goes live.

From Friday, people now need proof they have had two doses of vaccine in order to enter nightclubs and many other large events.

The scheme was seen as a way to encourage the uptake of the vaccine in younger people.

Passport proof needed if you want to get into a night club.

An NHS Lanarkshire spokeswoman said the focus was now on Covid booster vaccinations and the flu jab and that the volume of people attending appointments for those meant that an appointment system was the best way to manage large numbers of people.

She said: “Friday 1 October will be last day for drop-in vaccination clinics for the time being.

“As we start to deliver the Covid booster and flu vaccinations the number of people attending our clinics is significantly increasing, therefore we do not have the capacity to also offer drop-in spaces.

“If your appointment is not suitable, we would encourage you to reschedule it. Details on how to do this will be on our appointment letter.”

NHS Lanarkshire
NHS Lanarkshire will stop offering drop-in vaccines after Friday

A spokesman for NHSGGC told BBC Scotland that the health board was currently giving first, second and booster doses of the Covid vaccines plus the flu jab programme to members of the public and health and social care staff.

He said that limiting the service to appointments meant they could manage the footfall and manage staffing levels at its vaccination centres better.

‘Extraordinary and dangerous’

He added that the situation would be kept under review.

Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Jackie Baillie, pictured left, called the halting of drop-in clinics “extraordinary and dangerous”.

She said: “That two of Scotland’s largest health boards are unable to offer drop-in vaccinations is simply unacceptable.

“Thousands of Scots remain unvaccinated – if we are ever to get this virus under control we must act now and we need to be opening up opportunities for vaccination, not closing down clinics.

“It is down to this SNP government to stop going at a snail’s pace and take action to ensure that health boards continue to provide vaccination clinics, particularly as the NHS is already in crisis before we even get to the pressure created by winter.”

The BBC has contacted Scotland’s other health boards. NHS Grampian is still offering drop-in appointments. NHS Borders is offering them in most areas, but NHS Dumfries and Galloway says there are no drop-in clinics this week.

NHS Tayside’s drop-in clinics are ongoing. And NHS Lothian said it had a range of large venues and community centres that have drop-in facilities and it had a vaccination bus too.

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