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Nearly 700 patients aged over-80 vaccinated at Forres Health and Care Centre

By Garry McCartney

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Forres Health and Care Centre was very busy on Saturday and Sunday.
Forres Health and Care Centre was very busy on Saturday and Sunday.

NEARLY 700 local patients received Covid vaccinations at Forres Health and Care Centre over the weekend.

Culbin and Varis Medical Practices manager, Fiona Harris, confirmed 677 people aged over-80 were successfully inoculated, with only "a handful" not able to attend appointments sent out for them, or who did not wish vaccination.

She said: "The clinics went very well - patients turned up on time, were checked in quickly and given their second injection appointments before being taken through for vaccination without undue delays.

"We had lots of great feedback from patients and staff, and we are grateful to the NHS Vaccination Team for their help and also the Forres Rotarians who helped us with car parking and traffic flow."

Donald Anderson (91).
Donald Anderson (91).

A one-way system was used to ensure social distancing and to manage the flow of patients, with vaccinations done on both the GP-side and NHS-side of the health centre. ​

Patients were asked Covid screening questions on arrival to ensure that neither they or anyone in their households had a cough, fever or change in sense of smell or taste. Patients also wore face coverings and staff wore appropriate personal protective equipment.

Fiona said: "The patients were delighted and relieved. We had lots of staff, including GPs, who were keen to step forward and do their part in this mass vaccination programme. We chose to do it over the weekend so that our day-to-day service was not impacted and appointment schedules were full-on for both days. It took a lot of organising with all the added restrictions but everyone thoroughly enjoyed doing their bit in the fight against Covid."

Elizabeth Barclay (81).
Elizabeth Barclay (81).

Vaccine rollout to other patient groups, based on age and underlying health conditions, will be coordinated by NHS Grampian, not the GP practices. Satellite clinics are planned to be held at Mosset Park every Monday commencing February 1 by appointment only.

However, the over-80s will return to Forres Health and Care Centre for their second vaccinations in April.

"When you’re eligible, you will be invited to roll up your sleeve," said Fiona. "If you have any questions about Covid vaccination, call the Covid Vaccine Helpline on 0800 030 8013 between 8am and 8pm."

Forres Health and Care Centre has not been informed of any vaccine supply issues for Forres patients. The District Nursing team will now contact the over-80s housebound/shielding patients to arrange home vaccinations over the next few weeks.

Iain Armour (81).
Iain Armour (81).

Fiona said: "The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and those in your community from Covid-19. It is great news that we have a vaccine and a light at the end of the tunnel.

"NHS Scotland will only use a vaccine if it meets the required safety standards, so we would therefore encourage everyone to take the vaccine when they are offered it."

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