Some second dose appointments offered in error to teenagers in Lothian

Tuesday October 5th 2021

Midlothian Community Hospital Bonnyrigg

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

NHS Lothian has said that a number of second vaccination appointments have been mistakenly scheduled for 16 and 17-year-olds.

The health board said text message and appointment letters have been issued to the teenagers in Lothian which urge them to attend an appointment for a second dose of COVID vaccine, even though they may not be eligible.

At the moment, and in line with national guidance, 16 and 17-year-olds are only being offered one dose of the vaccine, unless they are clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, living with someone who is or are an unpaid carer.

However a data error has caused 2,500 text messages to be sent to teenagers in Lothian inviting them for a second dose. Many of those invitations may be entirely appropriate, but many will not.

As a result, a second text message has been issued urging the teenagers not to attend unless they are clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, living with someone who is or are an unpaid carer.

The situation is under investigation to establish what happened and how many letters may also have been sent via the national booking system to teenagers.

Pat Wynne, Director of Nursing Primary and Community Care, NHS Lothian, said: “I would like to apologise to all of those teenagers affected and for any confusion and inconvenience caused.

“All of those who received a text message have been contacted again with more information on what to do next. We don’t yet know how many letters have been issued, but we are investigating fully to establish what happened and how many people are affected.

“If you are eligible for a second dose – if you clinically extremely vulnerable yourself, living with someone else who is or are an unpaid carer – please double-check your appointment and make sure you receive that vital protection from a second dose.

“However we are really keen to make sure that other teenagers do not face a wasted journey to a vaccination centre or that they do not receive a second dose when it is currently not recommended for them.”

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