Apology for over-50s without Covid vaccine appointment on day of target

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer has apologised to those eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine who still have not received an appointment on the day of the Scottish Government deadline for all Scots over 50 and with underlying health conditions to have been offered a jag.

“We recognise it will be a little unnerving,” Dr Dave Caesar told BBC Good Morning Scotland on Thursday, “so there’s an apology there if you’re feeling that way and if you might have fallen through the cracks”.

The Scottish Government has said it aimed to offer all those in the first nine JCVI vaccination priority groups – including everyone over 50, unpaid carers and those with underlying health conditions – a vaccine by April 15.

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Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday that this target had been “effectively hit”, but recognised that this did not apply to everyone in those groups.

Gillian Bruce co-ordinator with the immunisation team at NHS Forth Valley chats to Ian Love from Dunipace after giving him a vaccine at Forth Valley College's Stirling campus. Picture date: Wednesday March 17, 2021.

As of close of play on Tuesday, 86 per cent of those in the 50 to 55 age group had received a first dose, along with 97 per cent in the 55 to 59 group.

Some 86 per cent of those aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions had been given a dose.

Percentage coverage for unpaid carers is not available, as Public Health Scotland said it was not able to determine the size of this group.

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These figures are set to rise before the end of the deadline day, and some of those in the cohort will have vaccinations scheduled in the next few days.

But Dr Caesar acknowledged that some people in the first nine groups had not yet had an appointment scheduled, including some who had tried to arrange one themselves and been told to wait.

He asked these people to “stick with us”, saying the programme would get to them when it can.

"The system is working through it, these are not static groups, and people are joining these groups over time,” he said.

“The system is pretty robust so that it will pick up these folk who might not have been captured by that first effort in due course,” he said.

"Just stick with us, and we'll get to you when we can.”

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