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Covid Scotland: Is Tayside’s jag rollout on track? Vaccine boss answers your top 7 questions

NHS Tayside has updated on the roll-out.

Tayside’s Covid-19 booster and flu jag rollout continues this month as part of the huge vaccination campaign taking place nationally.

It’s an ambitiously large and complex programme.

The vaccination team locally has the mammoth task of delivering 600,000 vaccinations between September and December.

So what’s the update and how may have they delivered so far?

Is it going to plan?

There’s been talk in some areas that the rollout isn’t happening fast enough.

But NHS Tayside Public Health Vaccination Programme Director Lynne Hamilton has all the facts, figures and answers to your questions, at hand.

She explains: “We are making great progress in offering flu jabs, Covid boosters and third doses to those who are most at risk.

Lynne Hamilton.

“We’re on track to offer everyone who is eligible their vaccinations by mid-December.”

Who’s had their latest round?

NHS Tayside is working their way through priority groups.

That means:

  • The majority of over-70s, and those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, have now been invited for vaccination.
  • Others in these groups will be given appointments for boosters once they become eligible.
  • Appointments are also ongoing for third doses for people who are severely immunosuppressed.

Who is up next?

Issuing of appointments has started for:

  • Those aged 60-69 years-old.
  • 16 or over with an underlying health condition.

Letters will continue to be delivered over the coming week for appointments in community vaccination centres.

Lynne adds: “Please don’t worry if you haven’t had an invitation yet. Everyone who is eligible will be offered a vaccination when it is their turn.

“We have had fantastic support from the public so far and we really do appreciate their patience as we work through such a large and complex vaccination programme.”

How many people have had their jags?

So far in Tayside:

  • More than 136,000 Covid boosters, flu jabs and third doses have been given to people who are severely immunosuppressed.
  • 800,000 vaccinations have been administered since the beginning of the vaccination programme in December 2020.

Vials of Covid-19 vaccine branded Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen.This includes Covid first, second and third doses, boosters and flu jabs.

Why are some getting Covid and flu jags at the same time?

Wherever possible, Covid boosters and flu vaccinations will be delivered at the same appointment.

This is safe and effective and reduces the need for people to attend twice, Lynne explains.

Why do we have to wait six months for boosters?

Remember, Covid boosters can only be given a minimum of six months since your second dose so you will be invited once you approach this date.

How big is the vaccination team?

NHS Tayside has 223 staff who are directly employed as vaccinators and are currently recruiting to expand the permanent vaccination workforce.

Lynne says: “There are also hundreds of other staff trained as vaccinators on our staff bank or working in other clinical areas who take regular or occasional shifts in our vaccination teams.”

Teams are delivering Covid and flu vaccinations in community vaccination centres, hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes and patients’ homes.

‘Commitment and dedication’

Lynne is very grateful to the teams: “I’m really proud of their commitment and dedication during such a busy and challenging time for us all.

“It is truly humbling to see the extra mile all staff have, and continue to go, to protect our local population. I can’t thank all the teams and individuals involved enough.”

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