Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the news that drop-in vaccination centres are being rolled out across Dumfries and Galloway, but has said the Scottish Government should have opened them weeks ago.

Cases have been steadily increasing across the south of Scotland in recent weeks and as of Sunday, drop in vaccination are open across the region to anyone over the age of 18 who has not yet received a first dose of vaccination and for anyone who has waited more than 8 weeks for their second dose.

Colin Smyth said: “Last week I called for drop-in vaccination centres to open across the country and I am happy it is now happening. Our fantastic NHS is doing a brilliant job in getting as many people vaccinated, as quickly as possible but there are many people who have missed their appointments for whatever reason.

“Drop-in clinics are essential to ensure these people get vaccinated and those who had their first jag eight weeks or more ago and who haven’t heard about a second appointment can get fully covered.

“Both the UK and Scottish Governments have said that lockdowns are no longer on the cards as we move into this new stage of the pandemic and that vaccination is going to be key to stopping the spread of this terrible virus. However, the number of cases we are seeing every day are really frightening.

“While I welcome this move, the Scottish Government should have done it weeks ago when it first became obvious that Covid cases were raging out of control.

“I also believe that the whole aim of drop clinics is to provide a flexible alternative for people.

“At present those proposed are quite restricted to either a half a day per week during the daytime in most towns and one day a week in Dumfries. Again to be truly flexible we do need to have facilities one longer and more days per week if we are to ensure that everyone possible is vaccinated.”

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