NHS Lothian’s Covid-19 vaccinators urge young people to get the jab

Healthcare staff working in Lothian’s six mass vaccination centres have urged the public to get the jab when offered.

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This call comes after a downturn in the number of people attending their vaccination appointments was reported by frontline workers.

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The reduction in uptake became prevalent as the vaccination began being offered to younger people this week.

GP and Covid-19 vaccinator Dr Mimi Cogliano works as a shift lead at Gorebridge mass vaccinating centre.

NHS Lothian director of nursing for primary and community care Pat Wynne said Cohort 10, made up of 40 to 49 years-olds, has been showing hesitant toward taking the vaccine.

He 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."Regrettably, hesitancy is the biggest reason.”

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However, the reason behind this hesitancy is not clear.

My Wynne said: “They just say they don't want to get the vaccination."

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Pat Wynne, NHS Lothian director of nursing for primary and community care at the new mass vaccine centre at the Royal Highland Centre.

In response to this Midlothian GP and Covid-19 vaccinator Dr Mimi Cogliano has urged young people to protect themselves and their community and get vaccinated.

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She said: “We must not lose sight of the fact that there are many, many people who have lost their lives in this country and internationally to this horrible disease.

“I would encourage everybody to please make the extra effort, come out, protect you, protect your loved ones, help support the community as a whole and help support your NHS.”

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While highlighting the downturn in numbers Dr Cogliano also said that overall the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine in Lothian has been positive.

NHS Lothian have successfully vaccinated over two-thirds of the region.
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“It has been a fantastically positive experience,“ she said. “I’ve worked at the NHS for the better part of 25 years and I have never worked in an environment where so many people have come together.

“I have worked with doctors, nurses, optometrists, dietitians, physiotherapists, healthcare assistants and we all work together as a vaccination team. It’s been overwhelmingly positive.”

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NHS Lothian’s vaccination team is made up of 1183 healthcare workers, 100 admin staff, and 12 volunteers from St John’s Ambulance.

Together they have vaccinated nearly 650,000 of the region's most at-risk people, including all healthcare staff and care home residents.

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Concern has been raised about the number of people choosing not to get vaccinated.

A total of 643,946 people have received their first dose with 207,615 having received both doses of the lifesaving jab.

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The most recently available official statistics say the region has a total population of 907,580 – meaning more than three-quarters of residents have received the vaccine.

While the project has been hugely successful the team urge everyone to stay alert and to remember that vaccination remains a vital tool in the fight against Covid-19.

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Nurse director at NHS Lothian Professor Alex McMahon said: “We are reaching a pivotal point in our fight against COVID-19 and as restrictions are lifted across Scotland, we need to remember that vaccination combined with sensible precautions, such as handwashing and face masks, are still just as important.

“Our teams are working hard to make sure they can vaccinate as many people as the vaccine supply will allow and as we invite younger groups to come forward, they are even busier than before.

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“I would urge everyone to make sure they attend their vaccination appointment to help provide greater protection across our communities.”

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