A CALL has gone out to unvaccinated locals across Dumfries & Galloway to get their jabs.
The call comes as the Scottish government confirms plans for vaccine passports for those over the age of 18 from 1 October.
Vaccine passports will be required to enter nightclubs and major events – MSPs in Holyrood voted for its introduction by 68 to 55 – despite a subsequent U-turn for similar plans in England.
Cases of Covid-19 remain high within Dumfries and Galloway, with just a very slight decline recorded last week.
A total of 709 cases were recorded in the week ending 11 September, against a total of 852 the previous week. In Langholm & Eskdale there were seven cases.
Public Health consultant, Dr Andrew Rideout said: “As much as we wish we were seeing the start of a move downwards in terms of Covid case numbers, it’s still too early to say.
“Thankfully, over the past three weeks case numbers in Dumfries & Galloway have held relatively steady and have not continued climbing in the way they have been in other parts of the country.
“What we’re seeing just now is people being admitted to hospital unwell with Covid who haven’t been vaccinated, and we don’t want anyone to reach that position without having been informed about the potential risks in not taking up the chance of a vaccination.”
Everyone eligible is being urged to ensure they receive the protection of two vaccinations, with the Scottish government hoping the passport scheme will encourage people to get vaccinated – especially younger age groups.
The call follows that made by NHS Dumfries & Galloway chief executive, Jeff Ace who also noted that those who were falling ill with Covid had not been vaccinated.
Mr Ace said: “We are still seeing unvaccinated individuals who are continuing to become seriously ill and are continuing to progress to critical care.
“That is so frustrating because vaccination is very easy, it is very safe and it is very available.”
Dr Rideout added: “We have to recognise that we do have high numbers of cases right across our communities, which means there is a very real possibility that anyone could encounter Covid-19 at any time.
“It’s therefore vital that anyone not yet doubly vaccinated against Covid gives serious consideration to taking up this opportunity.
“Vaccines train your body’s own immune system to recognise and be prepared to fight the virus, and it’s a very simple quick thing that provides people with the best form of protection against what is a potentially very dangerous virus.”
Total first dose vaccinations in Dumfries & Galloway stands at 117,005 for those aged 16-plus – 93.7% against a national of 90.9% – and second doses stand at 110,839 as of Monday – 88.7% against the national of 83.3%.
• Full details of vaccination locations can be found by visiting www.nhsdg.co.uk/vaccines/.