High number of care homes sees Edinburgh suffer lowest vaccination rate in Scotland

NHS chiefs say that Edinburgh’s high number of care homes has delayed the roll out of the coronavirus vaccination programme, as figures show the capital’s vaccination rate is lagging behind the rest of Scotland.

As of Monday, 17,195 people had been vaccinated in the Edinburgh City Council region. Picture: Andrew Milligan - Pool/Getty Images

As of Monday, 17,195 people have been vaccinated in the Edinburgh City Council region, which is 3.85 per cent of a population of 446,623, according to weekly Public Health Scotland vaccination figures.

This is the lowest percentage in Scotland, and lower than comparable regions such as Glasgow and Aberdeen, which have vaccination rates of 4.44 per cent (23,644) and 6.21 per cent (12,002), respectively.

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Across the three other council areas within the NHS Lothian region, West Lothian, Midlothian and East Lothian, percentage rates are higher, with vaccination rates of 4.15 per cent (6,121), 5.84 per cent (4,352), and 4.67 per cent (4,083) respectively.

However, NHS staff have been working hard to vaccinate Edinburgh’s high care home population, including staff, and frontline health and social care workers.

The latest Public Health Scotland weekly vaccination figures, which are correct as of January 18 and published on January 20, show that NHS Lothian has administered 31,751 vaccinations, or 4.2 per cent of the population of Edinburgh, West Lothian, Midlothian and East Lothian.

That figure is continuously rising, and NHS Lothian chiefs say that since January 18 more than 7,000 additional vaccinations have taken place, taking NHS Lothian’s total to over 39,000.

David Small, director of Primary Care Transformation and executive lead for the vaccination programme for NHS Lothian, said: “NHS Lothian is making excellent progress against its programme to deliver first dose vaccinations to priority groups across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

“To date we have delivered over 39,000 vaccines to frontline health and social care workers and care home residents and staff.

“In addition, vaccinations among people aged 80 and over is also well underway, with GP practices vaccinating as quickly as supplies will allow.”

“Due to the high number of care homes across Edinburgh it has taken longer to roll out vaccinations.

“This was further complicated by national guidance restricting clinics in homes with a current or recent Covid-19 outbreak. We now have an agreed risk-assessed system to allow us to reach more of the remaining homes to protect residents and staff.”

Across SCotland, the latest figures revealed 309,909 people have now received their first dose, up 25,327 on the previous day.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has hinted her aim to inoculate all over-70s by mid- February is at risk due to supply issues.

Sher warned concerns had been raised at a UK level after Pfizer rescheduled its manufacturing of jabs.

Conservative Lothian MSP, Miles Briggs added: “It is concerning that Edinburgh is lagging behind in the number of people who have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccinations.

“Edinburgh has a higher number of care home residents, who take longer to vaccinate, than other local authorities, which may have slowed down the process.

“What is important now is that the level of Covid-19 vaccinations in Edinburgh and the Lothian’s is ramped up to get everyone in the community vaccinated as soon as possible.”

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