Fear of variant sees period between first jab and second reduced from 12 weeks to eight

NHS Lanarkshire is bringing forward second doses of the covid-19 vaccine to eight weeks from 12 weeks for safety’s sake -in a move that will see numbers swell at vaccination centres.

And the acceleration of this painstaking process stems simply from fears about the new Indian variant of the virus.

Dr Mark Russell Lead for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Lanarkshire, said: “To help get ahead of any significant rise in cases of the new Covid-19 variant, we are accelerating the roll-out of our vaccination programme.

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"For example, if you are due your second dose at the end of June or beginning of July, then your appointment will be brought forward to early to mid-June.

“The number of people attending our vaccination centres will significantly increase.

"At the peak, we will be administering around 60,000 doses a week – this will be a combination of first doses for the younger age groups and second doses.

“Vaccination against Covid-19 has never been more important.

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“To help continue on our road back to normality we need to make sure as many people as possible are vaccinated. It is also important to attend for both doses, for longer lasting protection.”

“As the number of people in our vaccination centres increases, we are asking for help from members of the public to help them run as smoothly as possible.

“This involves not turning up without an appointment, arriving as close to your appointment time as possible and attending on your own if you can.”

Dr Russell added: “We know that people have busy lives and the appointment offered may not be suitable.

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" We have increased capacity at our centres to make it easier to reschedule your appointment to a more convenient time or place. You can do this online or by telephone – details are on your appointment letter. Also, make sure you cancel your appointment if you need to. This means that your appointment is then available for someone else to use and it is not wasted.

“We need to balance how we deal with the new variant of Covid-19 while continuing with the recovery of other NHS services. Attending for your vaccination reduces your risk of serious illness.”

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