Wednesday February 17th 2021

Colin Beattie MSP
Colin Beattie MSP, Midlothian North & Musselburgh, writes his monthly column for Midlothian View

I am very pleased to hear that the vaccination programme is in full swing and to be receiving so much positive correspondence relating to the roll out of the programme. It is absolutely fantastic that we have now vaccinated over 1 million people in Scotland with their first dose, and this really puts us well on our way to making such that older people and vulnerable people in our community are protected from the Covid-19 virus.

I would like to offer a huge congratulations to all of our NHS workers who are involved in running this vaccination programme and for contributing such a tremendous effort to seeing us safely out the other side of this pandemic.

For those who are offered the vaccination over the coming weeks it is important that we all make ourselves aware of how to access our appointment and what alternatives there are if we can’t make it. We should all try our best to do all that we feasibly can to attend our given appointment time.

Firstly, accessing your appointment is essential travel so you are not breaching any rules by traveling to get your vaccination. You can use public transport to access your appointment if appropriate, and the Royal Voluntary Service may be able to provide you with transport to a GP appointment if you are struggling to find a way to get there.

If you are offered a drive-through appointment you should not arrive by foot. If you do not have a car in the first instance, ask your friends or family if they could drive you to your appointment. You are welcome to be brought to your appointment by someone in your ‘bubble’, but you should consider whether you can make this safer by maintaining maximum distance in the car and minimising the number of surfaces touched. You should also wear masks and open the car windows to improve ventilation where possible. There is also a service provided by HandiCabs Dial-A-Ride, however these slots are limited and so if you have another way of accessing your appointment then you should take it.

If you have any issues with your appointment and need to reschedule, then please visit or contact the Covid-19 helpline on 0800 030 8013. If you are having trouble getting to an appointment because you are shielding, please contact the National Assistance Line on 0800 111 4000.

Everyone has a part to play in tackling this pandemic by attending their vaccination appointment when they are offered it. The programme has now reached more than a fifth (22%) of the 4.5 million people who will be offered a vaccine, and this is an excellent result. I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeve and doing what I can to protect myself and others against Covid-19, and I hope you are too.

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