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More than 50 per cent of adults in the Western Isles have now received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, says NHS Western Isles.

This gives the islands the highest vaccination rate in Scotland

NHSWI is now inviting those aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions to roll up their sleeves for their vaccination. 

NHS Western Isles has already started inviting those eligible by telephone.

"This is a very large group, so we would ask those within this particular cohort to please be patient as we make contact over the next few weeks. We will work as quickly as we can to vaccinate everyone eligible in line with the vaccine supply available.  

Those eligible in the 16-64 ‘at risk’ group include those with: 

  • Chronic respiratory disease 
  • Chronic heart disease and vascular disease  
  • Chronic kidney disease  
  • Chronic liver disease  
  • Chronic neurological disease  
  • Diabetes mellitus  
  • Immunosuppression Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen  
  • Morbid obesity  
  • Severe mental illness 

Full details are available on NHS Inform at: Who is being offered the coronavirus vaccine in Scotland | The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine (nhsinform.scot) 

NHSWI say: "We continue to vaccinate those aged 60 or over, unpaid carers, and those who are shielding (clinically extremely vulnerable). We will contact you directly by telephone if you fall within one of these groups. We are also progressing second doses for those now eligible.  

"We would ask that, if you are aged 70 or over and have not yet received an appointment, that you contact us now on 0808 196 8383."

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, said: “In the Western Isles, we have had a very high uptake of the vaccine, which is encouraging, and we have now vaccinated 50.4 per cent of all adults (11,316 individuals in total) in the Western Isles, which is the highest vaccination rate in Scotland.  

“We are also progressing well with second vaccinations, and over 700 second doses have already been administered.  

“We continue to make excellent progress but the speed at which we can offer appointments in dependent on the vaccine supplied to us, so we would ask for your patience as we continue with this very important programme.  

“We would also ask that, if you are invited forward for the vaccine, that you please get it.  It provides the best protection against COVID-19.

"Please in the meantime, ensure that you continue to follow all the precautions in place, regardless of whether or not you have been vaccinated, as there is still the potential that you could spread COVID-19 to others.”