Covid vaccine bus continues tour
A Scottish Ambulance Service vaccination bus has hit the road again to deliver the Covid-19 vaccine to residents in the rural and remote areas of the Highlands.
The mobile vaccination clinic is operating out of Culloden Medical Practice this week and around 220 people, identified by NHS Highland, are expected to be vaccinated via trained Scottish Ambulance Service staff operating out of a modified coach - offered and supplied free of charge by Lochs and Glens Holidays of Gartocharn - and a car which has been visiting homes.
On Thursday and Friday (February 11 and 12), a team of five staff members from the Scottish Ambulance Service are delivering the Covid vaccine to people aged over 70 to 79 and also clinically vulnerable patients.
This follows the successful launch in Stanley, Perthshire, last week where 370 residents – identified by NHS Tayside - were vaccinated, including 25 people in their own homes.
Scottish Ambulance Service Medical director Jim Ward said: “This is a great initiative in the fight against Covid-19 and was very well received by residents in Perthshire last week. We have already vaccinated more than 5,000 of our own staff, Community First Responders and students, which has been a fantastic effort by everyone involved.
“The bus is essentially a mobile vaccination clinic that can access remote and rural Scotland, providing a sheltered place where people can come and get vaccinated in a safe environment by trained healthcare professionals.
“We are very grateful to Lochs and Glens Holidays for providing the bus and look forward to working alongside other health boards and Scottish Government colleagues in developing the initiative and rolling it out to other areas of Scotland.”
The vaccination bus and car pilot aims to support Health Boards in their vaccination efforts and appointments are made via GP practices.
Dr Paul Davidson, NHS Highland’s Deputy Medical Director, said: "We are pleased with the progress of the vaccination programme in NHS Highland with over 62,000 people vaccinated across Highland, Argyll and Bute. This additional support from the Scottish Ambulance Service is highly valued and will support the next stage of our vaccination delivery."
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “We appreciate all the offers of support as we roll-out the biggest vaccination programme ever undertaken in this country.
“I would urge everyone to take up their appointment when they are offered one. The vaccination programme is one of three key ways we are working to beat this virus, along with our expanded testing programme to identify cases and break chains of transmission and the important lockdown restrictions everyone in Scotland must follow. All these measures work to greatest effect when they work together.”