Appointment letters for remaining 70+ and those at high risk to land across Lothian
Appointment letters have begun landing on doorsteps across Lothian as vaccination teams invite the remaining people aged 70 and above and those at high risk to step forward for their life-saving flu and Covid vaccines.
Appointment slots have been created for the last two weeks in November to ensure those who are vulnerable have the highest levels of protection possible, especially in the run-up to Winter.
Letters have been sent via the national Covid-19 vaccine appointment booking system to those aged 70 and over as well as people classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV).
If patients have not received an appointment letter by Monday, November 15, and they are in either category – aged 70 and above or CEV- they should contact the national helpline on 0800 030 8013 directly to make an appointment.
This latest round of appointments will bring an end to the first priority group before the programme moves on to invite people aged 60-69 to step forward for their flu and Covid booster vaccines.
NHS Lothian, in line with national guidance, is aiming to co-administer both vaccines during the same appointment. However it will only be possible to deliver the Covid booster if six months has passed since the person received their second dose of the Covid vaccine. If not, a second appointment will be made.
Pat Wynne, Nurse Director of Primary and Community Care, NHS Lothian, said: “This round of appointment letters will be arriving across Lothian within the next few days and we urge anyone who receives their appointment to step forward.
“Where possible, we have tried to ensure that patients can receive their flu and Covid-19 booster at the same time to avoid them having to attend two appointments.
“However, it may not always be possible. It may be that someone who is considered clinically at risk for flu will receive an appointment only for that vaccine because six months has not yet passed since their second dose of the Covid vaccine.
“We are working really hard to minimise any inconveniences and make it as easy as possible for people to get their vaccines, but it can be a fine balance. We need to make sure that those who are at risk receive a flu vaccine as soon as possible and that they get a Covid booster as soon as they are eligible.
“If you have not received your letter by Monday next week and you think you should have, please call the helpline and they will arrange an appointment for you there and then.”
This year, the flu vaccine and Covid vaccines are being delivered by the four local Health and Social Care Partnerships in Lothian. They are not being delivered by local GP practices.
People will be given a vaccination slot at either a mass vaccination centre or a smaller local venue, close as possible to their home, similar to the system for their first and second dose appointments.
Patients are being urged to keep their appointment, but if they cannot attend they are being urged to reschedule by calling the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013 as soon as possible.