Appointments cancelled as concern grow over Covid vaccine supply in East Dunbartonshire

One-hundred-and-one years young Emily Lawson was one of the people who did receive their vaccination last week.One-hundred-and-one years young Emily Lawson was one of the people who did receive their vaccination last week.
One-hundred-and-one years young Emily Lawson was one of the people who did receive their vaccination last week.
Concern is growing over an inadequate supply of the Covid-19 vaccine to local GP practices as the roll-out to over 80s continues.

One 89-year-old woman who was due to receive her jab at Kirkintilloch town hall last week was told it couldn’t go ahead. She was not given a new date.

Many others are still 
waiting for an appointment.

The concern follows an update to councillors by East Dunbartonshire Council boss Ann Davie on the area’s covid vaccination programme on 
Friday, January 7.

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The report said the initial supply being delivered “is not sufficient” for all 7,100 of the over-80s living in East Dunbartonshire.

As a result, the report said, the most vulnerable over 80s, identified by GPs, would be vaccinated first, followed by age order, with the oldest.

By the end of last week, a number of people posted on the Herald’s Facebook page of issues over their appointments. Vaccinations have been taking place at a mixture of GP surgeries and local town halls.

Former East Dunbartonshire Provost Una Walker posted: “My 89 year old neighbour was initially told to 
attend Kirkintilloch townhall on Monday 18 January. Next day she was told that would not happen as not 
sufficient vaccines had arrived ! She is still waiting fora new date !”

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A local woman posted: “Two of my neighbors both over 90 had their first shot last Monday. Another neighbor in her 80s still awaits her turn.”

Others said they were still waiting and one added: “My GP told me on Wednesday that the she was unable to carry out her scheduled vaccinating due to a shortage of supplies.”

Dr Andrew Buist, the chair of BMA Scotland GP committee, told the BBC Politics Scotland show on Sunday, January 17, that the delivery of the Covid vaccine to GP practices across Scotland had so far been

He said GPs could not make appointments for patients 
until surgeries had taken 
delivery of the vaccine.

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He added: “We can’t plan – that’s the key thing. We have to make sure we have the vaccine in the fridge.

“We can’t send out appointments to patients until we know we can definitely vaccinate them. Otherwise, patients get very upset and distressed and anxious, quite rightly.”

Both East Dunbartonshire Council and NHS Greater Glasgow said they couldn’t comment on the shortage of supply locally.

The Scottish Government, which wants to vaccinate all over 80s in Scotland by February 5, acknowledged there had been delays.

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A spokeswoman said: “GPs have a significant role to play in delivering the vaccine – and we thank them for their hard work and patience as we roll out more vaccines to those in the communities.

“We know there have been some initial delays in supply reaching some practices and are working with health boards to resolve this.

“Vaccines are being manufactured as quickly as possible and we will continue to explore all options available to increase supply.”

The government said health boards were providing order information for their GP practices to National Procurement who in turn advised the distribution partner.

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Their spokeswoman added: “Once stock is released for ordering, the distribution partner inputs the GP orders on to their ordering system.

“Once the order has been placed, GP practices will receive an automated email providing an indication of the delivery day.”

Individual GP practices in East Dunbartonshire who are not vaccinating within their practices, will contact their patients, via the telephone, to invite them to attend a centre on a specific date and time.

As the Herald went to press on Monday, it was reported that the Army are to help establish 80 new Covid vaccine centres across Scotland.

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The Ministry of Defence (MOD) told the BBC 98 soldiers were being deployed to identify suitable sites and aid deliveries of the vaccine.

The soldiers are from the Royal Army Medical Corps and Leuchars-based Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

The Scottish government has said it wants to vaccinate the over-80s, care home residents and staff, front-line health workers and social care workers by the beginning of February - 560,000 people.

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