The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are investigating why many people scheduled for a Covid-19 vaccine over the weekend apparently failed to show up. The SSE Hydro, located west of Glasgow, administers at least 4,000 doses per day with the capacity to immunize up to 10,000 people per day.
The SSE Hydro is used as a vaccination center
Reports suggested that the number of missed appointments was “considerable”, with up to half of all those who were booked missing their slots.
Opposition politicians said the no-shows were “particularly worrying” for a city still under Covid-19 Level 3 restrictions following a recent spike in the number of cases.
South Glasgow is also at the center of concerns over the so-called Indian variant of the coronavirus, which is believed to be more transmissible than previous Covid-19 mutations.
The Scottish Government has said work is underway with all boards of health to understand the level of appointments that were not attended and whether this was a localized or more widespread problem , while Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said this week would be “critical” in determining whether restrictions could be eased.
The Covid vaccine will be offered to everyone over 18 in parts of Glasgow as cases increase …
A spokesperson for the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: ‘We recognize that there have been an unusual number of cancellations and no-visits for vaccinations at The Hydro over the weekend. We take a closer look at the details to understand the reasons.
“We strongly encourage everyone to take the opportunity to be vaccinated once they are invited to do so.”
The news comes as the Scottish government tries to prevent any further increase in Covid-19 cases in south Glasgow. This includes efforts to accelerate its vaccine deployment program in southern regions, including Pollokshields and Govanhill. Last week, those over 18 living in these regions were offered their Covid vaccine earlier than expected in a bid to fight the epidemic.
Glasgow City currently has the second highest Covid-19 case rate in the country with 136.8 cases per 100,000 people, having recorded 866 new positive tests in the week ending May 21.
Clackmannanshire now has Scotland’s highest case rate at 139.7 per 100,000, but the number of positive tests is much lower at 72.
Reacting to missed appointments, Scottish Tories’ shadow health secretary Annie Wells suggested issues with vaccination appointment letters missing or not being received could be at fault.
She said: “We know that vaccinations are our best way to get back to normal, so it is extremely concerning that so many people did not show up for their appointments.
“This is particularly worrying when the deployment has been speeded up in Glasgow due to the recent surge in cases in the city.
“The vaccination program has been an incredible success in Scotland and the UK. However, SNP ministers need to be as transparent as possible when serious issues like this arise.
“There could be a number of reasons people didn’t show up for nominations, but unless SNP ministers are frank, we won’t know why the slots were ultimately not used this. that day.
“If there are issues with people getting their appointment letters on time, then SNP ministers need to give boards of health the resources to make sure people’s details are fully up to date.
“This is all the more important now as we encourage younger people to get vaccinated and can safely ease restrictions in the coming weeks.”
Young people under 30 can now sign up for a vaccine appointment following the launch of a new online form by the Scottish Government.
The website allows people aged 18-29 to register with NHS Scotland for an appointment for a vaccine and receive a date and time by email and / or SMS, provided that they are registered with a general practitioner.
Over 30s can also check when they’re ready to receive a jag using a similar online tool.
Scottish Liberal Democrats’ health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton urged young people to sign up for a vaccine and called on the Scottish government to do more to make sure people register.
He said: “Younger age groups are more likely to move frequently and have less contact with their GPs, so the government should explore a range of options as to how they can save. people and get their vaccine.
“There are tens of thousands of young people desperate to get vaccinated who haven’t had that option yet. The pandemic has swept us away for too long, if we want to resume a normal life, we must obtain vaccination coverage because it is as high as possible.
“The vaccine is our best weapon against the virus. If you have not received your letter, please check with your GP. I strongly encourage anyone who can to make an appointment and receive their vaccine. “
Jackie Baillie of Labor said the reports were “disturbing”.
“It is vital that people do all they can to get the vaccine – we all need to roll up our sleeves when the time comes. But the point is that the Scottish government must be prepared to do whatever it takes to support the boards of health. in the deployment of the vaccine.
“The success of the vaccination program is a top priority and the Scottish Government must keep an eye on the ball. “
Mr Yousaf received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday at Caird Hall in Dundee and urged people to come to their appointments.
He said: “We have seen, I’m afraid to say, a slight increase in the number of those not attending appointments.
“So my really strong message, my exhortation, my call, would be to please be present and if you cannot attend the appointment given to you of course you have details that you can. change appointments, rearrange and reschedule, which is really important to do. “
To date, 3,108,819 people in Scotland have received their first jag, and 1,828,930 people have received their second dose.
Responding to concerns about missed appointments, a government spokesperson said work was underway to determine the reasons for the drop in attendance.
They said: ‘We are aware of reports that a higher than normal number of people did not make it to their Hydro vaccination appointment in Glasgow over the weekend.
“Work is underway with all guidance to understand the level of appointments that have not been followed and if this is a localized or more widespread problem. This will allow us to continue to ensure that everyone has access to a vaccine. “
Scotland lags behind Wales and England in the percentage of first doses given, with 70.4% of all eligible adults receiving a first dose, according to the latest data, with the country just ahead of the ‘North Ireland.
It is also third on a second dose basis with 41.8% of adults receiving a second dose, ahead of Wales but behind England and Northern Ireland.