Edinburgh’s biggest Covid-19 vaccination centre will vaccinate more than 30,000 a week
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The first patients have begun streaming through the Lowland Hall at the Royal Highland Centre which has been turned into the Capital’s newest vaccination centre.
Vaccination teams opened the doors to the huge centre, which has 50 vaccination stations with the potential to increase to 61, this morning.
Vaccinators will be capable of jabbing around 30,000 people every week in the mass venue as they enter the busiest phase of the entire programme.
Instead of vaccinating around 5,000 people every week, Lothian teams are gearing up to more than triple their current capacity.
They will deliver more than 18,000 vaccines every week as the numbers of patients eligible for the jab increases in line with the population mix in Lothian.
The region has fewer older people than many other areas, meaning that the vaccination programme which is being targeted in descending age order is about to enter the busiest period so far as it invites younger people to come forward.
Director of nursing for primary and community care at NHS Lothian Pat Wynne said: “We are ramping up all of our activity and we are really pleased to bring this new centre online.
“Lothian has a younger, more transient population than many other areas so as the programme works through the cohorts, which are determined by age, it means we have more people to vaccinate, than we did in the older age categories.
“That means that the amount of vaccine we get will increase, which in turn means we can vaccinate more eligible people at once.
“This is a really exciting and significant moment for all of the teams involved. We have been planning, checking and cross-checking to make sure everything will be as safe and as smooth an experience as possible and I’m really proud of all of the work and effort from all of our teams.”
People aged between 40 and 49, cohort 10, are currently being invited to step forward for their vaccination.
They, as well as all of the other cohorts, are being urged to keep the first appointment they are given in a bid to ensure that as many people as possible can be vaccinated as quickly as possible.
Concerns have been raised after healthcare workers noticed an increase in the number of people aged 40-49 choosing not to get the jab.
Mr Wynne said: “We are beginning to see the number of people not coming in to be vaccinated creep up as we start to move down the age groups.
“We do a lot of work to contact people who have not shown up and try to recognise what those reason are.
“Regrettably, hesitancy is the biggest reason. They just say they dont want to get the vaccination.”
Mr Wynne added that it is individual’s responsibly to get vaccinated and help protect their community.
He said: “Every single one of us has to be responsible if we want to get out of this and get back to normality.
“We need to vaccinate as many people as we possibly can to help save lives and provide protection to help communities get back to normal.”
Details can be found on NHS Lothian’s website and NHS Inform.