The autumn/winter vaccination programme has been running since early September and will continue into December.
So far, just over 60% of people in Shetland who are eligible for a Covid vaccine booster have been vaccinated, and nearly 55% of adults and 65% of children have had their flu vaccine, meaning nearly 10,000 people have had one or both vaccines.
Everyone in Shetland who is eligible for vaccination for a clinical reason should have now been offered an appointment or the opportunity to book an appointment. Some people have had phone calls or letters with an appointment time, and others have had a letter, email, or text message informing them of how to book an appointment. Some groups, such as unpaid carers and health and social care staff, will not have received a personal invitation, but regular information has been released regarding how to get vaccinated.
Anyone who has not yet received an appointment can use the booking portal at https://www.nhsinform.scot/winter-vaccines/ to book one at the Grantfield Vaccination Centre in Lerwick or can contact the vaccination team on 01595 743319 or firstname.lastname@example.org
There will also be walk-in clinics during December during the following times -
- Tuesday 5 December 12pm-6pm
- Wednesday 6 December 10am-4pm
- Thursday 7 December 12pm-6pm
- Friday 8 December 10am-4pm
- Saturday 9 December 10am-4pm (this is the last Saturday clinic before Christmas)
- Monday 11 December 10am-4pm
- Tuesday 12 December 12pm-6pm
- Wednesday 13 December 10am-4pm
- Thursday 14 December 12pm-6pm
- Friday 15 December 10am-4pm
Clinics are at the Grantfield Vaccination Centre which is in the Toll Clock car park, behind Bolts Garage. The entrance is clearly signposted via the side door, not the SIC reception entrance. More walk-in clinics over the coming weeks will be advertised on the NHS Shetland website Vaccinations – NHS Shetland and on the NHS Shetland Facebook page.
Elaine Maguire, Vaccination Programme Team Leader, said: “If you think you are eligible for a flu and/or Covid vaccination and have not been invited or been able to make an appointment, please contact the vaccination team as above. You can also check if you are in a group that is eligible for the flu and/or Covid vaccine on the NHS Shetland website or the NHS Inform website. You can also attend a walk-in clinic to check if you are eligible and get your vaccines. Health and social care staff and school staff eligible for the flu vaccine should bring their staff ID.
“People who live on Unst, Yell or Whalsay or are registered with Hillswick can contact their own GP practice. Other people who have not had their vaccines yet and who live on the non-doctor islands, or who are unable to travel to any clinic, should contact us so that we can make suitable arrangements. The vaccination team is working with practice and community nursing teams to ensure that everyone eligible for winter vaccinations can get them.”
Dr Susan Laidlaw, Director of Public Health, said: “Although we have good uptake rates so far for the Covid and flu vaccines, amongst the highest in Scotland, there are still around 6,000 people who are eligible for flu and /or Covid vaccination who have not yet been vaccinated or booked an appointment. The vaccines do provide very good protection against severe illness and hospitalisation due to flu and Covid infections. To get the most benefit, please get your vaccinations before the Christmas holidays.
“Older people, those with underlying conditions (particularly a weakened immune system), and pregnant women are particularly at risk from serious illness, and I strongly encourage anyone in those groups to come forward for vaccination. If you are unsure about the vaccines, then please look at the information on NHS Inform, contact the vaccination team or another health professional such as your midwife, or attend a walk-in clinic to discuss further.
“It is also really important for health and social care workers and unpaid carers to get vaccinated to protect both themselves and this in turn also helps to reduce the spread of infection to the vulnerable people they care for.”
Groups eligible for flu and Coronavirus vaccination are:
- residents and staff in care homes for older adults
- people aged 65 and over
- people aged 6 months and over with a condition that places them at higher risk
- pregnant women
- frontline healthcare workers (including independent contractors and support staff who are patient facing in GP, dental, optometry and community pharmacy)
- frontline social care workers
- carers (including unpaid and young carers aged 16 and over)
- people aged 12 or over who live with someone with a weakened immune system
Groups eligible for flu vaccination are:
- children aged 6 months to 2 years at higher risk of flu
- children aged 2 to 5 (and not yet in school) on 1 September 2023
- all primary school pupils
- all secondary school pupils
- people aged 18 to 64 with an eligible condition
- people aged 50 and over
- nursery, primary and secondary school teachers and pupil-facing support staff
- prison population, prison officers and support staff who deliver direct front-facing detention services
- non-frontline NHS healthcare workers (including all independent contractors and support staff in GP, dental, optometry and community pharmacy)