Mainland health boards to offer drop-in COVID vaccine clinics
All mainland health boards will offer drop-in COVID vaccination clinics from Monday, the Scottish Government has confirmed.
Everyone aged 18 and over can attend for their first or – if eight weeks have passed – second dose.
The move comes after more than 4,000 new cases of the virus were recorded in Scotland on Thursday.
In a push to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, drop-in clinics will be introduced, as well as mobile vaccination units run by the Scottish Ambulance Service.
The mobile units will visit local communities and busy city centre spots in Edinburgh and Glasgow for a two-week period.
Health secretary Humza Yousaf encouraged everyone to take advantage of the vaccination programme, as the country wrestles with the spread of the Delta variant.
He said: "Our route out of this pandemic is getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, that is why I am urging people to get jagged in July.
"The vaccination programme continues to progress at pace and, as always, I want to thank everyone involved and all those who have taken up the offer of vaccine.
"As we approach the final stages of the first COVID-19 vaccination programme we are increasing the options available for how and when you choose to be inoculated.
"You can attend one of the drop-in clinics being run in all mainland health boards or pop into a mobile unit. You can also rearrange the location of your appointment online if, for example, it is more convenient for you to be vaccinated closer to your work than home.
"You can find out where your nearest drop-in clinics are by visiting NHS Inform which will direct you to the latest information from your local health board.
"All those aged 18 and over can also self-register to receive their appointment by text or email which will be convenient for anyone who has recently moved house or is new to Scotland.
"All of the evidence says that the vaccines are working as we continue to battle the faster-transmitting Delta variant which is now dominant so I urge everyone to take advantage of the vaccination programme which is open to every adult in Scotland."
But Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said the move had come weeks too late.
He said: "With the virus running rampant it's worrying that it has taken the Scottish Government such a long time to get this up and running. London has had walk-in clinics for several weeks now.
"Scottish Liberal Democrats have repeatedly advocated for more walk-in vaccination centres so this is a step in the right direction.
"However, the vaccine rollout is only half the story during this surge. The government remains silent on how it will end the mounting delays in contact tracing. It should never have reached the point of needing to turn off some tracing activities altogether because of a lack of capacity. Ministers need to tell us whether they have any reinforcements available for such a surge or whether they have taken their eye off the ball."