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Scotland, it’s time to roll up our sleeves

According to research from University College London, those most at risk of mistrust and misinformation about vaccines are the same groups at increased risk for illness and death from COVID-19; ethnic minorities and those from socioeconomically deprived backgrounds. Therefore, it is our responsibility to help reassure the people we support, that the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect themselves and others from the virus.

A new Scottish Government campaign has launched to emphasise the importance of the vaccine and its safety, highlighting that it is the best way out of coronavirus, as it offers the best protection.

The vaccine will be offered to 4.5 million people in Scotland, with those most at risk of COVID-19 prioritised, in line with guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Delivery of the vaccination programme is underway, led by NHS Boards who will contact those eligible when it’s time to arrange their vaccination appointment.

People are being encouraged to adhere to the restrictions in place and follow the FACTS guidance to protect themselves and slow the spread of the virus whilst the vaccination programme is rolled out.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“Vaccination offers us greater protection against COVID-19 and it offers us hope that this year will be a brighter one. It is another vital tool in our work to suppress the virus, but other measures including testing, and lockdown restrictions remain absolutely essential to suppress COVID to the lowest possible level in Scotland.

“These three critical actions will help us protect the NHS and save lives, towards a brighter year ahead. However, we don’t yet know how well vaccination stops people transmitting the virus to others – which is why it’s essential people protect the progress we’ve made, and continue to follow the restrictions currently in place, whether they have been vaccinated or not, while vaccine delivery is rolled out across the country.”

Interim Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Dave Caesar said:

“No matter which vaccine you receive, each has passed a rigorous three-phase testing process, reviewed by independent regulatory and advisory bodies to ensure it is safe and effective. Your local NHS health board will be in touch with you to arrange your vaccination appointment when you are eligible, and I encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible to do so.

“However, vaccination on its own it won’t be enough to win the race against this virus. Each one of us needs to do all we can – following the guidance, abiding closely to the restrictions, washing our hands, wearing face coverings, maintaining 2m distance from each other – everything we can to slow down the spread of the virus and suppress its prevalence as low as we can, so that increasing vaccination can do the job we need it to do. Doing all of that will help you protect yourself, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Please share the campaign with your networks and check out this library of Coronavirus leaflets which are also available in accessible formats.

For more information visit www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/roll-up-your-sleeves or call 0800 030 8013.

You can keep up to date with the latest SDS and Coronavirus developments here.