Two more mass Covid vaccination centres are to open in Fife – including one in north east Fife.
Until now, under 50s in the north of the region have faced a round trip of up to 50 miles to get their Covid vaccine.
It meant travelling to centres in either Glenrothes or Methil, a 90-minute journey for many people.
And it was extremely difficult for anyone without a car.
NHS Fife has now said it will open a vaccination centre in north east Fife, probably in St Andrews, from Monday.
It will also provide an additional centre in Dunfermline.
The move will allow for extra capacity as second doses are administered in parallel with younger age groups being called for their first vaccinations.
‘Far more convenient’
North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie had called for a centre in his constituency, calling the current situation “problematic”.
He has welcomed the news that one will open next week.
“I was determined that north east Fife did not lose out and I am pleased that NHS Fife has agreed to create a new vaccine centre in St Andrews for those under the age of 50,” he said.
The Liberal Democrat MSP added: “A 50-mile round journey to get to Methil or Glenrothes from some parts of north east Fife was an unnecessarily long journey, especially for people with busy working and family lives.
“So a new centre in St Andrews will be far more convenient for people and will cut the journey times considerably.”
Mr Rennie would also like to see vaccination centres in other parts of north east Fife, including Cupar and the East Neuk, but described the news as “a start”.
“I want to thank the NHS team for responding positively to the call and hope we can work together to make further changes to make it easier for people in north east Fife.”
‘Kept under review’
NHS Fife chief pharmacist Ben Hannan said: “The programme team have kept venue locations under review to ensure we are able to get access to and safely staff a range of appropriately-sized venues that meet the needs of the local population.”
There are currently four larger-scale vaccination centres in Fife.
They are in Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Methil and Glenrothes.
Across Scotland, more than three million people have received their first dose of the vaccine and 1.9 million have been given their second dose.