Nicola Sturgeon has urged those who may have missed their Covid-19 vaccination appointments to ensure they re-arrange to get their jag.
The First Minister, speaking during the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, acknowledged the importance of accommodating as much flexibility within the system as possible.
It comes after around half of coronavirus vaccine appointments at the Hydro in Glasgow were missed at the weekend.
“What we know in terms of the ‘do not attends’ for vaccination appointments is that that percentage overall across the country is higher now than it was at the start of the vaccination programme,” said Sturgeon.
“It’s been particularly high over the weekend at the Hydro, but it’s not an issue that is only affecting the Hydro.
“Now, there will be more than one factor at play in that and while we will, and are, trying to understand that in as much depth as possible, it’s also important that as we’re doing that, we get on to address what some of those are so that we’re trying to rectify it as we go.”
She added: “Some of it will be as we go down the age cohorts, perhaps more people that think this virus is maybe not a threat to them and therefore they don’t come forward.
“In my anecdotal experience, I don’t think that’s a significant issue. I think by and large people are really keen to get vaccinated, but round about the edges we may have that.
“Also, younger people who are more likely to be working may just be finding it more difficult to make appointments so we need to try to accommodate as much flexibility within the system as possible.
“We are encouraging people to understand why it’s so important that all of us get vaccinated.”
Sturgeon also said that over 22% of people aged between 18 and 29 years old had registered for a Covid-19 appointment after registration online was opened on Monday.
She said: “There will be issues about, just as I’ve spoken about, people’s address details perhaps not being up to date and letters not going to the right place.
“And that’s why, if you haven’t had an appointment, go onto the website so that we can quickly re-arrange it and of course as we go, the registration portal for young people is helping to address that at the outset because if you go on and register you’re making sure your details are up to date.
“So as we go, we’re trying to develop and evolve the system to make it as responsive and as accessible as possible and that work will continue.”
Sturgeon added: “Uptake rates are very high, so this is a relative thing and we want to nip it in the bud so that we continue to make sure the overall uptake rates are high.”