Jeane Freeman addresses confusion over when clinically vulnerable Scots will be vaccinated

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has addressed confusion among clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people in Scotland over when they will receive their first coronavirus vaccine.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily briefing on Friday, Ms Freeman said people with serious and long term health conditions were “a very important group indeed” and said that, as members of Priority Group Four, they will receive their first vaccine dose by the middle of February.

It comes after some CEV Scots expressed confusion over when they would be immunized following a statement given by Ms Freeman on January 13, when she appeared to announce a two week delay to the vaccination target.

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She told MSPs that the Scottish Government aimed to vaccinate people in the CEV category “by the beginning of March,” along with those aged between 65 and 70.

But on Friday, Ms Freeman addressed the discrepancy, clarifying that the plan had always been to give CEV Scots their jabs by mid-February.

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Confusion over Scottish Government targets for vulnerable Scots to get vaccine

“There will be a mix of ways by which they will receive their vaccination,” she added.

“They may be invited to those local community centres, some may be through their GP surgeries, and some may not be able to leave home.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has addressed confusion among clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people in Scotland over when they will receive their first coronavirus vaccine. (Photo by Andy Buchanan - Pool/Getty Images)

“Their vaccination will be at home,” Ms Freeman explained.

“The way people can find out about that is by looking at their local health board’s website, which will give specific details about how they will receive their vaccine and how they will hear about their appointment time.”

On Thursday, The Scotsman spoke to one clinically extremely vulnerable person who expressed frustration at the changing public health message.

Bill Rae, a dialysis and kidney transplant patient from Edinburgh, said the “ lack of the ability to communicate effectively” had caused “significant and needless anxiety and stress among CEV people.”

Mr Rae, along with thousands of other clinically vulnerable Scots, has been shielding since the start of the pandemic 11 months ago.

When approached by The Scotsman for clarification on Thursday, the Scottish Government did not acknowledge the discrepancy, but reiterated that it has always aimed to administer the first dose of coronavirus vaccine for CEV Scots by mid-February.

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