Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart today sought assurances from the First Minister that at-risk islanders travelling for medical treatment can be considered for priority Covid-19 vaccination.
At First Minister’s Question’s today, Ms Wishart said:
“A small number of my constituents need to travel to Mainland hospitals, for appointments, including weekly visits for life-saving cancer treatment. And that necessary travel can leave them more exposed than most. They are extremely vulnerable, but are not yet eligible for the vaccine – even though some are on the cusp.”
She asked the First Minister for assurances that clinicians are able to make decisions to vaccinate in these cases.
The First Minister said “the points about those with particular clinical vulnerability I think are well made and I hope they are being taken account of in the overall decision-making.”
Commenting afterwards, Ms Wishart said:
“A number of people undergoing life-saving treatment will need the extra protection the vaccine can give them. There is a duty to do all we can to help keep them safe, especially as islanders are required to travel to the Mainland which carries extra risk.
“The Scottish Government is rightly following the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on vaccination priority. However, there needs to be room for clinicians to make local decisions about vaccinating people who are extremely vulnerable and have to travel for treatment, but who are not yet in line in the vaccination programme.
“The Scottish Government and NHS must take into account the small number of people in these situations so decisions can be made quickly. Constituents affected need to know what to expect and who to turn to if they have questions.”