BOOSTER vaccinations against COVID are to be provided to those aged over 50 in Scotland – as we head toward winter months.
The vaccination team in Dumfries and Galloway are readying plans to roll out this programme, beginning with care home as identified as a priority by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation.
Immunisation Co-ordinator Dr Nigel Calvert said: “We’ve had a fantastic uptake of COVID vaccinations in Dumfries and Galloway, with 95.7 per cent of those aged 18 plus having had their first jab compared to 91.5 per cent nationally.
“And as second dose vaccinations continue to follow the first on the basis of an eight week gap, 90.6 per cent have so far had both compared to 85 per cent.
“Vaccinations began with the most at-risk groups at the end of last year, helping to train their immune systems to recognise and combat the coronavirus.
“It has now been decided that it is prudent to follow these up with booster jags as we go into the winter months, essentially serving as a reminder for those people’s immune systems about the threat they might encounter for real.
“We’d strongly recommend that everyone eligible does take up this opportunity, as it helps to continue that highest level of protection against the virus, and protect services.
“The Pfizer vaccine has been recommended, and will form the basis for this programme of renewed vaccination.
“Vaccinations will be provided in line with recommended order of cohorts, going on to include all people aged 50 plus along with frontline care workers and young people with certain health conditions.
“We’ll be keeping everybody updated as we get underway on this programme, which will run in parallel with our flu vaccination programme.”
Anyone eligible who has yet to receive their first COVID vaccination or take up their invitation to receive a second after eight weeks continues to be strongly encouraged to do so.
Moves are taking place around requirements from October 1 to have evidence of being vaccinated in order to gain entry to nightcubs and major events in Scotland.
The ‘passport’ scheme means that people who have had two vaccines in Scotland can download or get a paper copy of a certificate with a QR code.
And the QR code will also be available via a new NHS Scotland Status app once that launches.
These codes can be scanned at a venue to confirm the user is fully vaccinated. Anyone who has a reason for not being fully vaccinated such as children and people with particular medical conditions will be exempt.
Dr Calvert said: “As we learn to live with COVID, there’s an expectation that when attending these events we can demonstrate that we’ve taken action to help prevent spread by receiving two vaccinations against the coronavirus.
“This is about helping to protect ourselves, each other and the wider society.
“It’s possible that being able to evidence in this way will help provide assurance in other aspects of our lives going forward, so we’d encourage everyone to take up the chance of getting doubly vaccinated.
“We know that being doubly vaccinated provides the highest degree of protection against the coronavirus, reducing your chances of falling seriously ill and perhaps requiring hospitalisation.”
For full information on vaccinations including upcoming drop-in clinics, please visit www.nhsdg.co.uk/vaccines/
For information on obtaining a record of your vaccination status, visit www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine/after-your-vaccine/get-a-record-of-your-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-status/
Upcoming vaccination drop-in clinics:
Wednesday 15th September
Sanquhar Community Centre 13:30-15:30
Castle Douglas Town Hall 13:30-16:00
Thursday 16th September
Thornhill Rehab Suite 13:00-15:00
Newton Stewart Hospital 14:30-16:00
Moffat Hospital 14:00-15:30
Saturday 18th September
Dumfries Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall TC 13:00-16:00
Waverley Med Centre, Stranraer 13:30-16:00
Charles Street Clinic, Annan 14:30-16:30
Sunday 19th September
Dumfries Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall TC 09:30:12:30; 13:30-16:00
Charles Street Clinic, Annan 09:30:12:30; 13:30-16:00
Newton Stewart Hospital 09:15-12:30; 13:30-15:00