NHS Lothian has the worst vaccination rate in Scotland

Wednesday January 27th 2021

Photo by Hakan Nural

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Joseph Anderson

New figures show Edinburgh and the Lothians still have the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

According to weekly Public Health Scotland figures, compiled on Monday January 25 and published on Wednesday, NHS Lothian has the lowest vaccination rate out of every health board in Scotland.

Across the NHS Lothian health board area, which includes the capital, West Lothian, Midlothian and East Lothian, just 7.29% (55,082) of residents have received their first vaccination dose.

Comparable health boards, in terms of population and density, such as Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and NHS Grampian, have achieved vaccination rates of 9.04% (89.062) and 9.42% (45,702) respectively.

Meanwhile, The Edinburgh City Council area is the worst local authority region in Scotland for coronavirus vaccination rates, with just 4.94% (22,005) of residents receiving their first vaccination dose.

This is nearly half the Scotland-wide average of 9.14%, which itself is well behind the UK-average of 12.4%

Last week, it emerged that NHS Lothian has given coronavirus vaccinations to food bank volunteers – despite care home residents and staff still awaiting jags – because it says Scottish Government guidance on who should be prioritised is unclear.

The health board has previously explained this is due to the Scottish government’s policy of vaccinating care home residents and staff first, as the capital has a high number of care homes compared to other public authority areas.

However, opposition MSPs have voiced their concerns after the Local Democracy Reporting Service revealed that volunteers at food banks and other community organisations have been offered jabs –despite some care home residents and staff, and people aged over 80-years-old, still awaiting their vaccinations in Edinburgh.

Liberal Democrat Alex-Cole Hamilton, MSP for Edinburgh Western, said it was ‘frankly ludicrous’ that foodbank volunteers were being prioritised over care home residents, while former Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson, MSP for Edinburgh Central, said ‘the elderly and at-risk people across Edinburgh deserve better’.”

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