Remaining under 40s urged to get their second dose.
People aged under 40 who have still to receive their second dose of the vaccine are being urged to book an appointment or go to a drop-in clinic and maximise the protection offered.
The number of cases is rising and around two thirds of new cases are in under 40s. Over the past month, 30% of COVID-19 related hospital admissions were in those aged under 40, and the majority of hospital admissions amongst unvaccinated individuals were in the under 40s age group (58%).
The second dose of the vaccine offers greater and longer lasting protection and can be given from eight weeks after the first, either at a drop-in clinic or by requesting an appointment through the NHS Inform website. Evidence shows that after two doses the vaccines are more than 90% effective against hospital admissions from the effects of the virus. Even if the time since the first dose is more than eight weeks, people can still be vaccinated and are encouraged to come forward.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:
“More than eighty per cent of the population have now received both doses and I really want to say thanks to all of them and of course, everyone involved in the delivery of our national programme.
“Scotland’s vaccination programme has been one of the fastest in the world, but it’s clear there are some people – particularly aged under 40 - who have been offered a second appointment and, for whatever reason, have not yet attended. Our message to you is clear. It’s not too late to get your vaccine and it remains vital that you get both doses in order to give maximum protection against this virus. Please don’t leave the job half done.
“We are working to make it as simple as possible for people to get their vaccines, and have increased the options available for how and when people choose to be vaccinated, such as drop-in and open-access clinics.
“While we are in the process of emerging from the pandemic, high case rates at the moment underline the fact that this virus is still a significant threat and the importance of getting vaccinated cannot be underestimated.”
Ian Scott, Clinical lead for Respiratory (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) ECMO service Scotland based in Aberdeen Royal infirmary said:
“Over the last few weeks we have been seeing increased numbers of referrals to intensive care in the under 40s with COVID-19. In the UK, the average age of patients with COVID-19 requiring ECMO support is currently under forty.
“The stark fact is, none of these patients have been double vaccinated and most do not have underlying health conditions.
“Normally at this time of year we would have no patients requiring this level of respiratory support. The survival rate of patients with severe COVID-19 is worse than viral pneumonia. The risks with requiring ventilation and ECMO are extremely high and we feel that some of these deaths could be avoided.”
NHS Grampian ECMO Lead Nurse Lucy Fleming said:
“I am under 40. To see increasing numbers of young and otherwise healthy people of my own age requiring this level of intensive care is heart-breaking.
“There is no doubt that as cases rise, it is crucial that everyone who is eligible takes up their invitation for a vaccination and gets both doses.
“No one should consider themselves invincible to COVID-19.”