White envelopes will be used for the first tranche of coronavirus appointments for those aged 70-79 because blue ones were not ready in time, the Scottish Government has announced.
As the inoculation programme moves through priority groups, several health board areas are beginning to send out letters telling those in the age group when they will receive their first dose of the Covid-19 jab.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman urged people to look out for the “very distinctive” blue envelopes, which are being given priority by Royal Mail.
However on Sunday evening the Scottish Government announced that white, windowed envelopes, with a distinctive black NHS logo on the right, will be used as a temporary measure as the blue envelopes are not ready.
It said the change has no impact on the vaccination programme timetable, with the first appointment letters expected to be delivered on Monday as planned.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The blue envelopes we hoped to use were not ready in time for the first tranche of vaccine appointment invitations so distinctive NHS branded white envelopes are being used as a temporary measure.
“The absolute priority remains the rollout of vaccinations and this temporary change to the envelope colour has absolutely no impact to our timetable.
“We continue to strongly urge everyone in the 70-79 age group to check all their post in the coming weeks and take up the offer of the vaccine when it is received.
“Patients may receive a phone call invitation from their local health board as part of the appointment process and all patients aged 75-79 in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will be invited via phone. ”
A new booking system is also being used by several health boards to schedule appointments for patients in order of priority.
Greater Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Lothian are among the NHS boards which will use the system.
The Scottish Government has said they are on track for all those aged 80 and over to have received their first dose of the vaccine by the end of the first week in February.
This age group will not receive a blue envelope as they are being contacted by telephone or another form of letter.
Ms Freeman said: “I would urge everyone to take up their appointment when they are offered one.
“The vaccination programme is one of three key ways we are working to beat this virus, along with our expanded testing programme to identify cases and break chains of transmission and the important lockdown restrictions everyone in Scotland must follow.
“All these measures work to greatest effect when they work together.”
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