Column: Coronavirus vaccination rollout on track


In my column in the East Lothian Courier I discuss conversations with the Health Secretary and the health board about the vaccine rollout.

“The issue of many being asked to travel to Edinburgh is being addressed with the mass vaccination centre at Queen Margaret University opening up, East Lothian Community Hospital also, and improvements in supply to GP practices which remain the bedrock for its delivery. Some problems have arisen, as neither the call centre nor national helpline are operated by the health board. That’s understandable as, setting it up at short notice, it will have been easier to go to an established company than starting from scratch.

“An algorithm was established to identify people and send them to a centre. As ever, science is great but can occasionally go awry. But that might help explain why some were directed to centres that were far from convenient. Thankfully, progress is ongoing. The slight delay in the Lothians has occurred as there’s a higher percentage of over-80s here than in most other areas.

“Asking the Health Secretary about the basis for the rollout being largely by age, I was told it was on the advice of the Joint Council on Vaccines and Immunisation. Age is the biggest factor leading to mortality, then other underlying conditions. Those more than occupations are the risk. However, it’s recognised that as things progress, that may need to change – not just teachers and police but shop assistants and others.

You can read the full column at the Courier’s website here: