With Scots being urged to get ‘boosted by the bells’, Covid vaccine drop-in clinics have been announced across Tayside and Fife.
Concern about the rapidly spreading Omicron variant prompted an acceleration of the booster programme, with everyone over 18 offered a third vaccination.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the government hope to have over 80% of over 18s vaccinated by Hogmanay.
The immunity offered by vaccination takes several weeks to come into effect, Ms Sturgeon has explained, so it’s hoped early booster jabs will give people the best protection heading into the New Year.
NHS Tayside has announced a series of drop-in vaccination clinics over the Christmas and New Year period, while NHS Fife has confirmed those taking place on Christmas Eve.
Appointments are also available in both health board areas in addition to the drop-in services.
Anyone over 18, or over 16 in an at-risk group, can have their booster 12 weeks after their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Use our interactive map to find a Covid vaccine clinic near you
NHS Tayside’s public health vaccination programme director Lynne Hamilton said: “We have already delivered around 220,000 Covid boosters so far which is a great effort from all the teams involved in the programme and all those who have rolled up their sleeves so far.
“Our vaccination teams are continuing to work hard to deliver the booster programme and we have made more appointments available to help people get their jabs as early as possible.
“We want everyone to get the extra protection offered by the booster this winter so please make sure you book an appointment or come along to a drop-in clinic as soon as you can.”
The health board is also urging locals who have an appointment booked in January to consider rebooking for a slot before New Year’s Day.
NHS Fife medical director, Dr Christopher McKenna, appealed to young people in particular to have their first, second or booster vaccine.
“While there are many unknowns about the new omicron variant, there is clear evidence that getting fully vaccinated remains the best means of reducing your risk of serious illness from the effects of the virus.
“It is easy, particularly if you are young, to assume that you are not at risk of becoming seriously ill due to the virus, however, right here in Fife we have seen young people who are otherwise well requiring care in our ICU.
“Indeed, very many of those who have required care in our hospitals due to the effects of Covid could have very likely avoided this by taking up the offer of vaccination when it was first offered.”