Following an increase in the number of missed appointments, NHS Tayside’s Director of Public Health is strongly encouraging people in Tayside to attend their COVID-19 vaccination appointment when offered it.
Dr Emma Fletcher is making the appeal to the public as vaccination teams in Tayside have seen a rise in the number of people not attending their appointments in recent weeks. On some days, as has been seen in some other areas of the country, up to 50% of appointments have not been attended at the larger vaccination centres in Dundee and Perth.
This appeal to get vaccinated follows concerns about a recent significant increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in Dundee, with the variant first identified in India (now named ‘Delta’ by the World Health Organisation) circulating in Tayside. As a result of the recent rise in cases, the First Minister announced today that Dundee would remain in Level 2 of Scottish Government restrictions.
Dr Fletcher said, “COVID-19 is still very much with us and the vaccine is your best protection against it.
“We strongly recommend that everyone gets the vaccine when offered it, particularly as we have seen a sharp increase in the number of cases in Tayside. It is also very important for people to get both doses of the vaccine for maximum protection.
“We know there are a variety of reasons why people do not attend their appointment and the vaccination team continues to closely monitor attendance at appointments. They are also developing options for alternative ways to deliver clinics to ensure that as many people in Tayside are able to take up the offer of vaccination when it is offered.
“We are asking anyone who is unable to attend their appointment to reschedule it for a more suitable date and time. This will ensure that appointments are not wasted and can be offered to other people. There is information in all booking letters about how to change appointments through the national booking system. You can also call the National Helpline on 0800 030 8013.
“One of the reasons we believe people are not attending is that they are no longer at the address registered with their GP. Invitation letters are being sent to the address people have registered with their GP practice so it’s really important that people keep their details up-to-date.”
The NHS Tayside vaccination programme has now delivered over 419,000 vaccine doses to the people of Tayside. The programme is now vaccinating all those aged 30-39, as well as delivering second doses.
Dr Fletcher added, “We have done so well in Tayside but we need everyone to work together and play their part to help us slow down the spread of the virus.
“Remember, in addition to getting vaccinated, please isolate immediately if you have any symptoms and get tested. Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms but could potentially be passing the virus on to loved ones, friends and the wider community. Therefore, even if you don’t have symptoms, please still get tested to check you are not currently carrying the virus. It is also really important that everyone continues to follow the FACTS guidance.”