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Coronavirus / Mum welcomes NHS apology after five-year-old daughter offered Covid vaccination

A LOCAL mother whose five-year-old daughter was offered the Covid vaccination has welcomed NHS Shetland’s apology for mistakenly inviting young people for the jab.

Claire Tulloch, from Clousta, said she immediately felt something was wrong when she was phoned and given an appointment for her daughter Lita.

At the moment no one under the age of 16 will receive the vaccine, even if they are in a risk group.

Tulloch said she raised the matter with NHS Shetland, but she was told to check with her GP.

“NHS Shetland were not keen for me to cancel the appointment,” she said.

Claire Tulloch and her daughter Lita.

“I double checked with my daughter’s nurse in Aberdeen who confirmed that children should not be given the vaccine.

“I understand that the vaccine centre staff were phoning everyone on the shielding lists but feel that they should have removed all bairns to avoid confusion and potential harm.”

On Monday NHS Shetland apologised for offering some people aged under 16 the vaccine, confirming that no bairns have received the vaccine.

“This was an error for which we apologise,” public health consultant Dr Susan Laidlaw said.

“At this stage children are not able to have either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine even if they are in a risk group, and are therefore not included in the programme.

“This issue has now been corrected and I am very sorry for any inconvenience and upset this may have caused to the children and their families, and please be assured that no child has received the vaccine in error.”

Tulloch said she is “thankful that they have now issued an apology and confirmed that no bairns were given the vaccine”.

NHS Shetland, meanwhile, has also appealed to adults in the community to accept their vaccine appointment and “make a special effort to get to the vaccination centre and have your jab”.

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“The priority is to get as many people protected as quickly and safely as possible,” Dr Susan Laidlaw said.

“If we have to move too many appointments out of the central vaccination clinics then this will slow the whole process down.

“If there are specific reasons which mean an individual cannot get to Lerwick then we can look at a local solution, but I must stress this can only be for exceptional circumstances.”

It comes after Shetland News revealed that the proposed second mass vaccination centre at the Gilbertson Park games hall could open two weeks early from 15 February as the health board looks to speed up the vaccination rollout.

Dr Laidlaw reiterated again that people should not call the Gilbert Bain Hospital asking about when they will get an appointment.

“Staff there cannot help you and you may be blocking the line for other people trying to get through,” she said.

“Similarly please don’t phone GP practices and NHS Shetland at Montfield asking when you will be called. Please wait and you will be called for your vaccination. We have staff phoning hundreds of people a day, currently those aged 65-79, and also those in the shielding group.”

Dr Laidlaw said that invites for people aged 80 and over are completed and she believes that “we have called everyone on our lists in that age group who are registered or temporarily registered with a GP practice in Shetland”.

“So, if you are aged 80 or over, and have not been invited for an appointment, please contact your practice. But only if you are aged 80 or over.”

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