NHS Ayrshire & Arran has been inviting those aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions to roll up their sleeves for their coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations. Since this phase of the vaccination programme began on 20 February, we have progressed well through priority group 6, thanks to continued supply of vaccine, the hard work of the vaccination teams and the support of members of the public who are turning out to receive their vaccine. Appointments are now being allocated to unpaid carers, who will be invited to clinics from 9 March 2021.
Letters have been dropping to Ayrshire addresses to invite those eligible to come forward for an appointment at one of the local vaccination centres. Our mass vaccination programme has been running since 1 February as we work through the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) list of priority groups to vaccinate those most at risk of COVID-19. Since the first vaccines were administered on 8 December 2020 to care home residents and priority health and care staff, there have been 138,465* people vaccinated in Ayrshire and Arran.
In the current cohort, the first to be invited are the people who have conditions which are included on both the JCVI priority list and the flu vaccine list. Although there is some overlap, the two lists are not exactly the same. This cohort also includes unpaid carers who receive carers’ benefits or who have been identified by GPs.
NHS Ayrshire & Arran will then work through the remaining list of those who have underlying health conditions but who do not receive the free flu vaccine.
Carers who do not receive carers’ benefits, and who have not been identified by GPs, will be asked to come forward to register for their vaccine soon through an online portal or by calling the national vaccination helpline.
NHS Ayrshire & Arran Chief Executive John Burns said:
“The vaccination programme is running very well and I want to thank our vaccination teams who have stepped forward to help us deliver this important programme as well as the 138,000 people who have taken up their appointment to roll up their sleeve and be vaccinated. I know from the enquiries we are receiving that people are keen to know when they will get an appointment and I want to reassure that appointments will be sent in accordance with the JCVI guidance. We would also ask that when you are invited for the vaccine that you please come forward to your appointment. It provides the best protection against coronavirus.”
Anyone aged 70 or over who has not yet been invited for their vaccine should visit nhsinform.scot for further advice, or call the national helpline on 0800 030 8013.