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Covid jags for the under 65s at risk are due to start this week.
With that updates comes a vote of confidence from NHS Highland’s public health boss that using GPs as a way of delivering Covid vaccines is going well.
As from March 3, 43 per cent of the over-18 population of the Highlands and Argyll and Bute had received their first jags – that is 108,403 people.
Easdale Medical Practice on the Isle of Seil is ahead of schedule having completed first jags for all its people at risk and already calling up the over-55s. If the next delivery of vaccines arrives later this week, all the practice’s over-50s could also be covered soon.
Practice manager Mary Phillips said ‘a fantastic team of volunteers’, including retired GPs and consultants had meant the vaccination programme was not impacting on the surgery.
Mairi Dunnings, practice manager at Lorn Medical Centre said after ‘a wee lull’ in vaccine supplies, the programme was now ‘back on track’.
‘We are on to the under-65s and at risk groups. The uptake has been really good, it’s been amazing. Everyone is so willing to get this done.’
Dr Tim Allison, director of Public Health with NHS Highland, says the health board has reached or exceeded the target for care home residents, front line workers, and people aged over 65, including those who are housebound.
Dr Allison added: ‘Vaccine delivery is going well with our general practice based model.
‘The work being carried out by GP colleagues is tremendous as is that of our local teams who are vaccinating colleagues across health and social care. The effort from everyone involved is something to be proud of.’
Dr Allison explained that different models of vaccine delivery are key in NHS Highland due to its remote and rural geography and population demographics.
A mobile vaccination unit called the Jabbernaut is expected to be brought in to action in early April to help jag the Highland region’s most rural and remote residents.