Young adults in Tayside are being urged to take up the coronavirus vaccine as quickly as possible in an “exceptionally serious” message from health chiefs.
NHS Tayside’s director of public health said the region had the highest rate of cases in Scotland and is among the worst affected places in Europe.
Dr Emma Fletcher said the number of coronavirus patients in hospital is now at its highest since February, including many young people.
An additional 30-bed ward has been opened up for Covid patients at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
In a video posted online, Dr Fletcher said: “This is an exceptionally serious message from us at NHS Tayside and it’s specifically targeted at 18 to 29-year-olds.
“I expect everyone has heard that we have the highest rate of Covid infection in Scotland here in Tayside and in particular in Dundee.
“Some reports have even singled the city out as having not only one of the highest rates in the UK but also in Europe.
“This is obviously very concerning for all of us as the number of people testing positive every day in Tayside remains in the hundreds.
“Unfortunately, there are young people right now with Covid in Ninewells – not only in our general wards, but also in our intensive care unit and our high dependency unit.
“So today we have a simple plea: please go and get your vaccination.
“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for people who are over 18 to get their jabs with drop-in clinics running across Tayside.
“Covid-19 has not gone away and is still having a serious impact in Tayside. So we need all of your support more than ever.”
The health board said that on Thursday night, it had 61 Covid patients at Ninewells, including 11 in critical care.
A number of hospitals elsewhere in Scotland have announced they have postponed planned operations due to the numbers of coronavirus cases, as well as staff absences due to the virus.