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Coronavirus / Another vaccination milestone reached

BY THE end of today (Monday) more than 10,000 islanders should have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

That is well over 50 per cent of all eligible people in Shetland.

The update in vaccination numbers comes as Shetland has gone a whole month without a confirmed Covid-19 case.

The last confirmed case was added the Public Health Scotland list on 9 February. A further case was erroneously added to the total of 212 on 4 March, and has not been removed yet.

NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson. Photo: Shetland News

NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson said his latest statistics showed that 9,755 people have had a total of 10,345 doses, meaning that around 600 islanders – mainly care home residents and those working in health and care frontline services – have received their second dose.

“The vaccination rollout will cross today the 10,000 mark where the 10,000thperson will receive their vaccination,” the health board chief said.

Dickson added that following the recent slowdown in vaccination progress he was “cautiously optimistic that we will have a significant increase in vaccine towards that latter parts of March”.

He also said that he was well aware of a number of comments made online over the weekend questioning why the health board continued to call people to arrange vaccination appointments by using withheld phone numbers.

“We ask people to work from home, which is the right thing to do, but understandably people are not prepared to release their personal number – that’s why we have been putting out the message saying ‘you will get a phone call from somebody with an unknown call ID,” he said.

“It’s a challenge, and it is always a case of trying to get as many people as possible, we do the best we can, and there have been plenty of comments saying ‘why don’t you write letters?’

“But if we want to write letters that would mean we have to delay the rollout because it takes a number of days for a letter to be posted, and I would rather that we are able to fill the [vaccinating] slots that we have available, and get people vaccinated as quickly as possible, and reserve the letter writing and follow up for people we need to catch up on.”

Dickson added: “And we will, our team is tenacious, they don’t let things go easily. So, they will keep on trying, and they have kept on trying for this whole period using a range of methods.”

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021