Covid Scotland: Drop-in vaccine clinics launched for over-40s in Edinburgh and Lothians

Drop-in clinics for the over-40s will be set up in Edinburgh and the Lothians in a bid to speed up the Covid vaccination rollout.

The clinics, which will offer first and second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, will run at mass vaccination sites for two weeks from Wednesday.

It comes after members of the Armed Forces were deployed to support vaccination in NHS Lothian, which has the lowest per-population coverage of any health board in Scotland.

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Anyone over the age of 40 who has not had a first dose can attend without an appointment.

Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Those who are waiting for a second dose can also attend, as long as their first jag was also of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and they received it at least eight weeks ago.

The clinics will run at Lowland Hall at the Royal Highland Centre and Pyramids Business Park in West Lothian from Wednesday through to Sunday. From Monday, they will run at every centre except Lowland Hall.

People will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis, and the centres will run for ten hours every day.

A total of 36 army personnel have been deployed into Lothian to help deliver vaccines across all of the centres.

The extra capacity of more than 3,500 appointments each day will allow the vaccination team to target people who have not yet had the vaccine and may also speed up the process for those waiting for a second dose, NHS Lothian said.

Pat Wynne, nurse director of primary and community care at NHS Lothian, said the clinics would be an important step.

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He said: “This is a really exciting step for us because it means we can reach a lot of people really quickly to help give them some protection, which is obviously vital to help beat new variants and keep people well.

“We are delighted to team up with the British Armed Forces again. Our teams have previously worked with them in two of our vaccination centres and we invited them to return to provide extra capacity across our centres as part of this race. They will join our teams at the routine appointment clinics and in the drop-in clinics.”

Conservative Lothian MSP Miles Briggs called the move an “excellent idea”.

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