Concerns raised about procedure to contact vulnerable people about coronavirus booster injection
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Hundreds of elderly and high-risk people waiting to receive their Covid booster jab in the north-east could be left in limbo after it emerged they will have to book an appointment themselves if they do not receive a letter by the end of the week.
MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Alexander Burnett, has written to the Scottish Government urging them to give clarity on the situation so those in need of the vaccination do not miss out.
Adults aged 70 years and over and those 16 years and over who are on the highest risk list were due to be contacted by letter or by their GP from the end of last month.
However, several elderly residents have alerted Mr Burnett with concerns that they have missed out as they have yet to receive a letter.
It prompted one to contact NHS Scotland who advised to phone and book an appointment if they do not receive a letter by Friday.
In his letter to health secretary Humza Yousaf, Mr Burnett, said: “I am getting reports that many of my elderly constituents have not yet received their letters from the NHS inviting them to have their vaccine booster jab.
“One of my constituents happened to track down a number to call for an update and the NHS advised that if he does not receive a letter by the 15th of October that he should call them back and book an appointment.
“If this is the case, there could potentially be a very large population – patiently awaiting a letter that may never come – who will be unaware that they must be proactive and call the NHS to book an appointment.
“Can you please clarify NHS’s advice and the Scottish Government’s position on this? If this indeed is the advice, what steps is the Scottish Government taking to make sure this information is disseminated to the public?
“I look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.”
Mr Burnett added: “There will be hundreds of over 70s and high-risk people rightly worried that they haven’t received their booster vaccination letter.
“The messaging from the Scottish Government hasn’t been clear enough and I’m concerned people will not be aware that they themselves actually have to book an appointment after October 15.
“It shouldn’t be up to our most vulnerable to phone a helpline to get answers – these should have been made clear well before now.
“There is a real risk uptake to begin with might not be as high as it should be simply because people weren’t aware of the procedure.”