Scots under 40 with no health conditions offered Covid-19 vaccine 'in error'

A number of Scots in their 20s and 30s have been offered a Covid-19 vaccine “in error” the Scottish Government has said.

Gillian Bruce, co-ordinator with the immunisation team at NHS Forth Valley, loads a syringe with a vaccine at Forth Valley College's Stirling campus. Picture: Wednesday March 17, 2021

It comes after several young Scots with no underlying health conditions took to social media to question why they had been sent a vaccine appointment letter ahead of their parents.

One 27-year-old woman from Edinburgh said she had thought at first that the blue envelope delivered to her was intended for her parents, who had not yet been offered a jag, and said she was surprised to find it addressed to her.

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“My mum went to collect the letter when the postman arrived thinking it was for her or my dad, but it was for me,” she said. "I'm 27 and I don't have any underlying health conditions, so I was immediately a bit concerned as I thought I would be vaccinated closer to summer.”

She said she was unable to find out why the appointment had been offered to her, and decided not to cancel it for fear of becoming “lost in the system”.

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“I was under the impression if you are offered the vaccine you should take it, and I didn't want to get lost in the system to I went over the weekend,” she said. "The helpline or the nurse at my appointment couldn't give me any information as to why I was receiving it this early."I'm glad I have been vaccinated now, but I think the resources could have gone to someone older or in a higher priority category to me."

The Scottish Government said some appointment letters have been sent out to younger people with no health conditions by mistake.

But in some cases those surprised to receive a letter may have a health condition they did not know was on the priority list, a spokesperson said.

They added that the advice for those who believe they are offered an appointment in error is to phone the national vaccine helpline and cancel it if needed, as another slot will be offered.

“We are aware of a small number of younger people reporting that they have received an appointment letter despite them not having any underlying health conditions,” the spokesperson said.

“We explore all the cases that we are aware of and there have been a mixture of reasons for the letters.

“In some cases people have not been aware of all the health risks that are covered under JCVI priority group 6 and they are in fact eligible for vaccination as part of this group.

“In a smaller number of cases the person has received an appointment in error.

“If someone receives an invite they think may have been sent in error, they can phone the national phone line on 0800 030 8013 to discuss this, cancel the appointment if needed, or fill in a form that so that the Health Board can investigate why an invitation has been sent.

“If a person does not attend an appointment or cancels one, they will still be sent future invites.”

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