Hundreds of young people turned out for their first dose of the Covid vaccine in Dundee as drop-in clinics opened for 18 to 29-year-olds.
More than 100 people at a time queued at the Caird Hall for the first day of drop-ins for the younger age group on Thursday
One local said he had waited more than two hours but was glad to do so if it meant getting his jab.
NHS Tayside thanked those who turned up to get their coronavirus vaccine and urged others to go along.
The health board announced the drop-in clinics for 18-29 years olds, with anyone in that age group able to turn up without an appointment.
Whilst cases remain “stubbornly high”, NHS Tayside said the vaccine programme meant this was not driving increased hospitalisations.
Centres have opened in Dundee, Angus and Perth and Kinross for any young people who have yet to have their first Pfizer vaccine and have not already booked their appointment.
It comes amid spiking infection rates across in Dundee, which remains the most infected local authority in Scotland.
Matteo Bell, a 19-year-old DC Thomson reporter who was vaccinated today, said: “I went along this morning because I saw that they were doing vaccinations for people who are 18 to 29.
“I was a bit surprised by the size of the queues but it’s good so many people turned out and got their jabs.
“Still, it must have taken me about two hours, I’m just glad I had a book.”
Dr Emma Fletcher, NHS Tayside director of public health, said: “We are seeing that the current rates for Tayside and Dundee are running just as high as the peak we experienced earlier this year where we had nearly 200 people in hospital with Covid-19.
“The big difference between now and January is that today there are 21 patients in our Covid-19 wards and critical care units and that is down to the impact of the vaccination programme.”
“Twenty-one patients is still a high number and one which we want to see reduce but the success of the vaccination clinics, which have now delivered more than 490,000 doses to people in Tayside, is making a difference and that is what is keeping people with Covid from needing our hospital care.”
Hospital admissions double
Dr Fletcher added: “The reality we are dealing with at the moment is that the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has more than doubled in the last 10 days and, given that there is an approximate 10 day interval between positive tests and hospital admissions, we expect to see that increase further over the coming days.
“That is why it is crucial that we keep pushing to get back on top of the virus as we have successfully done before.”
She stressed that following the guidance and taking care to follow the appropriate measures was the best way to beat the virus.
She added: “If you develop symptoms, please isolate immediately alongside your household and get tested and please take up the offer of the vaccination. These are the ways in which we will get on top of this spike in cases.
“We’ve arranged drop-in and surge clinics for all adults across Tayside for people who have not yet received an appointment for their first dose or are at eight weeks for second dose and we strongly encourage everyone to take up this opportunity.
Hundreds of young adults have already attended the first surge drop-in clincs today
“Hundreds of young adults have already attended the first surge drop-in clinics today and we are really grateful to everyone who has taken the time to come and get their jab.
“They will continue to run over the coming days so please come along if you can.”
Council leader John Alexander said it was a “critical period” and that the current significant increase in cases needed to be taken seriously.
He said: “Here in Dundee and across Scotland, we are starting to see vaccines break the link between infections and hospitalisation.
“That’s really positive news, and the vaccination programme continues to make tremendous progress. But we’re not all protected yet, and this is a critical period.
“We need to do everything we can to prevent the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant and protect those who are not yet fully protected by vaccines.
“That means continuing to follow the Level 2 guidance in place for Dundee. Minimising our number of contacts with others and maintaining good hygiene are important ways to break the chain of infection.
“And please also get tested, whether you are showing symptoms or not – it’s never been easier to access regular testing via the various sites in Dundee or by getting a test kit from your local pharmacy or delivered to your home.”