Invitations to a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine appointment for people aged 70-79 began arriving on doormats across North Ayrshire from today (Monday 25 January), as NHS Ayrshire & Arran (NHSAA) started issuing invitations.
A new booking system is being used by NHSAA, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and several other Scottish health boards, to schedule appointments for patients in order of priority. More boards are expected to make use of the technology as the vaccination programme expands.
The first tranche will use NHS branded white envelopes. Distinctive coloured blue envelopes are planned to be used as soon as possible as the programme progresses though the different groups on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority list. The letters will include information on how to reschedule an appointment if it is not suitable.
We are on track for all those aged over 80 to have received their first dose of the vaccine by the end of the first week in February. People aged 80 or are being contacted directly by phone or letter.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP said:
“We all know how easy it is to ignore some of the mail which comes through our letterboxes but these blue envelopes, when they start being used, will be very distinctive. All letters are being posted First Class and Royal Mail has said that the distinctive envelopes will allow them to prioritise delivery.
“The letters will contain information about the time and place of your appointment and details on how to reschedule it if you are unable to attend. I would urge everyone to take up their appointment when they are offered one.
“The vaccination programme is one of three key ways we are working to beat this virus, along with our expanded testing programme to identify cases and break chains of transmission and the important lockdown restrictions everyone in Scotland must follow. All these measures work to greatest effect when they work together.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“NHSAA is doing everything it can to inoculate priority groups as quickly as possible and it is encouraging that, only weeks into the start of this operation, NHSAA is able to move on to inviting its second priority group.
“This new booking system will be hugely advantageous in achieving smooth inoculation of priority groups, so that they can move on to others as soon as possible.
“If you are 70 or older, please look out for white NHS envelopes and distinctive blue coloured envelopes, as that’s how your invitation will look.
“Ensuring everyone is vaccinated is an operation of epic proportions, but it will be worth it to help society return to a form of normality and increase our social lives sooner rather than later.
“All you have to do is take up your invitation and I urge everyone, of every age, to please do so when you receive yours. Please continue to stay at home and abide by the restrictions in the meantime to protect ourselves, each other, and the NHS.”