Scottish Government offers to 'maximise' Covid-19 vaccine information for clinically vulnerable people

The Scottish Government will look at ways to “maximise” the information provided to clinically vulnerable people about Covid-19 vaccines, after calls for clarification from the MS Society in Scotland.

Staff vaccination at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Friday.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said at the coronavirus daily briefing on Friday that she will approach the MS Society and other MS organisations about what more information could be made available.

It comes after the MS Society released research showing that 72 per cent of members surveyed across the UK said they would like to receive further advice around taking the vaccine with their condition. Just over 69 per cent of the 3,000 respondents said they would take a vaccine.

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The MS Society said that a third of calls to the charity’s helpline are now related to Covid-19.

"The NHS is under incredible pressure and we are hearing from people who are faced with an incredibly difficult choice and are desperately looking for more information from charities like us,” said Morna Simpkins, MS Society Scotland director.

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Asked about the research, Ms Freeman said: “I've seen some of the coverage of the MS society's research about a number of people with MS saying they don't think they've had enough information about the vaccinations.

“We take that very seriously. We'll talk to the MS organisations about what more information would help those that they represent and work for, and make every effort that we possibly can to maximise the information that we’re putting out for people who have MS.

“Remember that when you go to be vaccinated, the vaccinator has a number of very important questions and a conversation with you before they give you the vaccine.

“That is a really important part of making sure that the whole process is safe.”

Chief Nursing Officer Fiona McQueen added: “Very few people will not be suitable for vaccination, and they would have that dialogue with the clinician who is going to vaccinate, or if they want to with their primary care practitioner they can have a discussion about the balance of risk between vaccination and not vaccination.

“All of that will take place during the procedure, and I’m confident we will be able to do that for people with MS.”

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