Covid vaccine delays in Lothians are hard to fathom given England's good progress – John McLellan

If you’re wondering when your Covid vaccine appointment will arrive there’s no point asking NHS Lothian because it won’t be able to tell you either.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 4:45 pm

Even though vaccination statistics are published by health region, appointments have been contracted out by NHS Scotland to the California-based software firm ServiceNow which provides cloud-based management systems.

ServiceNow also supports the contact-tracing systems and manages PPE supply, and the new deal announced in January would, according to NHS Scotland’s digital director Deryck Mitchelson, bring “a seismic shift in our response to Covid-19 as it assists with allowing the entire vulnerable population of Scotland to be protected quickly and efficiently”.

Last week, the roll-out of appointments for some 30,000 60-64-year-olds was delayed, but NHS Lothian didn’t know it was affected and couldn’t tell when local people would be seen. As it has no part in the process, it presumably still doesn’t.

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'Literally no patients' at some NHS Lothian vaccination centres after appointmen...

Over-55s are supposed to start getting their vaccines from this coming Monday, but who knows?

In England, the vaccination of over-50s has been going on for some time and it is hard to understand the difference in pace when supply is centrally co-ordinated, and difficult to fathom why NHS Lothian is one of the slowest in Scotland.

It is apparently because we have a higher percentage of younger people, and also a high number of older people in care homes. Too young, too old; again, who knows? But at least we are not stricken by the vaccine nationalism which is crippling Europe’s recovery.

Elizabeth Anne Kirk is vaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, near Edinburgh (Picture: NHS Lothian/SWNS)

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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