Colin Smyth MSP
South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has questioned the First Minister on the decision to halt some vaccination drop-in clinics.
The local MSP asked the question following the First Minister’s Covid update to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.
Speaking in the debating chamber, Colin Smyth said: “A number of health boards, including NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Dumfries and Galloway, do not currently have any drop-in clinics for Covid vaccinations and have returned to an appointment system.
“That is at a time when the Government has said that it wants to boost the number of young people being vaccinated.
“Is the First Minister concerned that those decisions, which are no doubt due to staff shortages, will have an impact on the quick roll-out of the booster and flu vaccination programme this autumn and winter?”
Speaking after the question session, Colin Smyth added: “Health boards like Dumfries and Galloway have done an amazing job rolling out the vaccination programme and the numbers of people being vaccinated are above the Scottish average. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff tasked with carrying out vaccinations.
“However, there are still people out there who have not had their jags, either they’ve not been for any yet, or they have missed their second dose for whatever reason.
“That’s why I asked the First Minster about the decision to stop drop-in clinics and why we must keep an eye on the situation.
“It’s clear that health boards face difficult choices between staffing the roll out of the flu and Covid booster vaccination programme and continuing with drop-in clinics to get to those who still haven’t been vaccinated, given limited resources
“Vaccination is key to our battle against Covid and I would encourage anyone who hasn’t already had their first or second jag to get in touch with their local NHS and arrange an appointment without delay.”