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Coronavirus / Health board appeal to those eligible for vaccination who haven’t been contacted yet

NHS Shetland is asking anyone 60 or over; or who is aged 16 to 59 and an unpaid carer, on the shielding list or in a Covid-19 risk group, and who had not yet been offered a vaccination appointment to get in touch with the health board.

This appeal also applies to those who have changed their mind about vaccination and would now like to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, those not in these two priority groups are being asked not to contact the health board, their GP or the hospital to enquire about vaccination appointments.

Consultant in public health Dr Susan Laidlaw said the health board continued to focus to vaccinate those in priority group six, as well as those over the age of 60.

More than 2,000 people on these NHS lists have been contacted over recent weeks, Dr Laidlaw said, adding that the will be people eligible for the vaccine at this moment in time who are not on the national lists.

“But there are more people being added to this group at a national level so we will need to contact some more people over the next week,” she said.

Public health consultant Dr Susan Laidlaw.

“Also, we know there are people eligible for vaccination who have not been picked up through these national lists.”

Dr Laidlaw is now asking anybody who should have been contacted but hasn’t to call the vaccination team on 01595 743319 and leave a message with their name, date of birth and contact number.

They would then be contacted for an appointment at the next set of clinics.

Anyone registered with Unst, Yell, Whalsay or Hillswick surgeries, should please contact the practice directly.

The risk groups for Covid vaccination are similar to the flu vaccine risk groups but not exactly the same.

The nationally generated groups include people who have a greater risk of severe illness due to Covid. The included:

  • people with chronic lung, heart, liver or kidney disease; any form of diabetes including diet controlled;
  • certain neurological conditions such as a stroke, or conditions that could affect breathing;
  • people who are immunosuppressed due to a condition or medication;
  • people with no spleen and those who had coeliac disease;
  • people with learning disabilities people;
  • and those who are very obese (BMI over 40).

People with asthma were only considered to be in the risk group if they required continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids (tablets or injected) or who had been in hospital with their asthma. People who only used inhalers for asthma were not included in the risk group.

More information on these conditions can be found at the NHS Inform website.

Dr Laidlaw said NHS Shetland was also administering second doses now and had Pfizer vaccine for this.

She added that those in their 50s will be contacted over coming weeks.

“We know it is difficult for people who are very keen to get their appointment, but we will call the next age groups (55-59 and 50-54) as soon as we have more vaccine,” Dr Laidlaw said.

“The national aim is to call these groups in by mid-April, although I am optimistic that we may achieve this sooner. But, as ever, it is entirely dependent on vaccine supply.”

Anyone who could not make an appointment they had been given should call 01595 743319 and leave a message. This would enable them to be issued with another appointment, and for the slot to be reallocated to another person.

More information can also be found at the NHS Covid-19 information page.