Young Borderers turned away from vaccine clinic

The ongoing NHS Borders staffing crisis left some young Borderers hoping to get their Covid-19 vaccines being turned away from a clinic in Galashiels last Friday.

By Kevin Janiak
Thursday, 4th November 2021, 11:26 am
Some younger people were turned away from a vaccination clinic in Galashiels last week.
Some younger people were turned away from a vaccination clinic in Galashiels last week.

The Southern was contacted last week by a resident who had taken their mother for a booster injection, but had to wait 45 minutes, even though they had arrived in time for her slot.

Our contact, who we have agreed not to name, told us: “Apparently, there were only five staff but seven people at every time slot. Younger people were being turned away as those with appointments were only being vaccinated. Surely the GP service would have ran this more effectively.”

A spokesperson for NHS Borders said: “Unfortunately, due to unexpected operational issues at our vaccination clinic in Galashiels on Friday, we could not see all patients at their agreed appointment times.

"In order to ensure that those with an appointment were seen as quickly as possible, some people without appointments were asked to come back another day. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“There are five drop-in clinic venues in the Borders (Galashiels, Hawick, Kelso, Peebles and Eyemouth) that are open to anyone aged 12 years or over who has not received their first dose, as well as anyone over 18 years old who has received their second dose more than eight weeks ago."

However, with the emphasis very much on the need to get young people vaccinated, it can’t help the situation when they are being sent away when they turn up to do just that.

It’s hoped that a further addition of military personnel, this time to bolster vaccination clinics, will ease the situation somewhat.

Five vaccinators and one nurse have been posted to the Borders area, and they began work yesterday.

South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth said: “The military has now been called in to support several health boards across Scotland and while this will hopefully help with the vaccination programme, we need to see a real strategy from ministers.

"Bringing in the military can only ever be a short term fix.”