'Unacceptable': Two-thirds of high priority people in Lothian still waiting for Covid-19 vaccination
An NHS Lothian document reveals that just one in three care home residents will have received a coronavirus vaccine by Sunday, a situation one Tory MSP has branded ‘unacceptable’.
The NHS Lothian report also states that only a third of care home staff in Lothian will be vaccinated by the same date.
On Thursday afternoon the First Minister confirmed that ‘well over half’ of the nation’s approximately 30,000 care home residents had already been vaccinated against Covid-19.
This puts Lothian behind the national mark with two-thirds of its care home residents and staff still to receive the vaccination after December 10.
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary, Donald Cameron MSP said this situation was “unacceptable” and called on SNP Health Secretary Jeane Freeman to provide a solution.
He said: “It is unacceptable for these residents, who are in the highest priority group, to still be waiting. It is made worse by not being told when they will receive the vaccine.
“I do not understand why two-third of care home residents in this area are still waiting while some people in lower priority groups have received vaccines.
"The health secretary must address these inconsistencies immediately.”
A total of 113,459 Scots will be given their first injection of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of Sunday, before the introduction of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday.
Nicola Sturgeon described vaccinating care home residents as “extremely important” as official figures showed that last week more than third of those who died were living in care homes.
NHS Lothian say they are focusing primarily on high priority groups and revealed that a proportionately large number of health care and social care staff based in Lothian have received their jags when compared to other health boards in Scotland.
Vaccinations for care home residents and staff in Edinburgh and the Lothians are expected to be completed by the end of next week.
David Small, Director of Primary Care Transformation and Covid Vaccination Project Lead, NHS Lothian said: “NHS Lothian has been regularly briefing MSPs, MPs and Councillors on our Covid-19 vaccination programme.
"The programme for care home residents and staff in West Lothian, East Lothian and Midlothian is on track to be completed by the end of next week. We’ve made good progress with Edinburgh City although clearly there are a higher number of care homes to be worked through. We have also vaccinated over 20,000 health and social care staff since the programme began on December 8. This represents double our population share, given that the Scotland-wide total of vaccines delivered so far is 110,000.
“Our focus continues to be on completing vaccinations for these top priority groups. We have not been vaccinating anybody in lower priority groups.
“We communicate with care homes as soon as we have news on deliveries of vaccines, but since planning is dependent on these deliveries, we are unable to give fixed schedules much ahead of time.
"However, we’re working closely with councils, health and social care partnerships and other partners to ensure that care homes are kept informed as much as possible and provided with information as and when it becomes available.”