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Cowal covid booster jag shambles

By Gordon Neish
Cowal covid booster jag shambles

Argyll and Bute health bosses apologised last night (Thursday) after some letters inviting people for Covid-19 booster jags were sent out late – or not at all – and others gave patients the wrong venue for the top-up vaccination clinics.

This comes after today’s Dunoon Observer print edition revealed that NHS Highland took a decision to organise the vaccination clinics itself rather that pay GP practices to administer them, as happened for the first and second vaccinations.

GP Practices had hoped to administer the booster jags along with seasonal flu vaccinations, allowing patients only one trip to clinics, as is happening on Bute and some other Argyll islands.

One Cowal GP told of NHS district nurses arriving at the hard-pressed surgery seeking details of patients.

Last night the local arm of NHS Highland, Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership, took to social media to apologise for a ‘number of clerical errors’ in letters for patients in Lochgilphead, Oban, Cowal, Helensburgh & Lomond and Lochgoilhead.

In Cowal, appointment letters have been sent out late to Strachur people, and not at all to patients in Kilmun and Tighnabruaich.

But the vaccination clinics will go ahead anyway, and people over 50 who have already had two jags are asked to turn up with or without an invitation letter.

The Cowal clinics are as follows:

Strachur: Tuesday, November 2, Strachur Memorial Hall, 9am – 4.45pm.

Kilmun: Wednesday November 3 and Friday November 5, Kilmun Village Hall, 9am – 4.45pm.

Kames: Thursday November 4, The Kames Hall, 9am – 4.45pm.

Lochgoilhead: Monday November 1, Lochgoilhead Village Hall, 9am – 4.45pm.

In Mid-Argyll patients have been asked to disregard letters inviting them to a clinic in Cairndow, and that new letters will be sent out.

Dr Robbie Coull of Strachur Medical Practice told this newspaper: “I think the results prove that covid is not the right vaccine to provide using a service that is at a beta testing stage of development.  It smacks of pet project egos getting in the way of patient care.

“Plus, who in their right mind thinks that having two separate teams providing two vaccines to the same group at the same time is a good idea?  It would be like giving babies their vaccines separately on different dates by different teams.

“It really calls into question the competence of the people who made that decision, because it is so obviously and predictably a terrible decision.”

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