AROUND 6000 vaccinations against COVID-19 are scheduled to be carried out in Dumfries and Galloway this week.
This keeps the programme on track to have offered first dose vaccinations to everyone aged 40-49 by the end of Sunday, to those aged 30-39s within the first three weeks of June, and to 18-29s shortly thereafter.
However, there may be factors why some people have not come forward; people may find it challenging to attend an allocated vaccination time, there may have been scheduling problems, or they may have reasons to be hesitant about taking up the opportunity.
Work is currently taking place to address these to ensure the highest possible uptake across the region.
NHS Director of Public Health Valerie White said: “We’re well on course to provide scheduled first dose appointments for all adults before the end of July – in line with the national programme.
“However, it’s vital that as many people as possible are supported to be able to have their vaccination.
“We understand that there are number of reasons why someone might not come forward to be vaccinated – the allocated time might not suit them, there may be problems around travelling to the appointment, or there might even be some lingering concerns or questions about any risks involved in being vaccinated.
“As we reach the final adult groups, we’re working to help address any issues that people might have and I would like to give assurance that anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated up until now still can be.
“It’s really important that as many people as possible get vaccinated. It helps to stop the virus spreading, protects everyone in our communities, including the most vulnerable people, and allows us to continue enjoying the easing of restrictions that have been so welcome.”
Anyone wishing to make a change to their appointment can do so by calling the national helpline on 0800 030 8013.
This helpline along with the website www.nhsinform.scot provides information and answers questions about the vaccine – addressing how it works, and providing assurance that it has been assessed as proving no issue in areas such as fertility.
Beyond this, work is taking place within the region around further tailoring vaccination access and support in order to specifically address local requirements – including the addition of extra capacity at weekend clinics.
Ms White said: “We’ve had a tremendous response so far from the public in taking up the opportunity to be vaccinated, but it’s crucial as we build a defence against the coronavirus, that as many people as possible get vaccinated – helping to stop the spread, and to protect themselves and others.”
As at close of May 25 a total of 92,567 people in Dumfries and Galloway had received their first dose vaccination – representing 75.4 per cent of all adults aged 18 plus.
Of those, 72,754 had received both doses, representing 59.3 per cent of the entire population aged 18 plus.