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GP practices to play important role in vaccine rollout in rural areas

By Ali Morrison

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Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron.
Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron.

Effective co-ordination is needed to deliver the Covid-19 vaccines in Scotland's remote areas such as the Highlands and Islands, a north politician has stressed.

Shadow health secretary Donald Cameron asked First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament to ensure that Scotland’s health boards are co-ordinating delivery of both Covid-19 vaccines especially in rural and remote areas.

Mr Cameron, a Highlands and Islands MSP, also stressed the importance of the role of GPs in delivering community vaccinations in rural areas during a statement by the First Minister on Covid-19 in the Scottish Parliament yesterday .

Speaking later Mr Cameron said: "The announcement that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the UK is a massive step in the fight against Covid-19, but to be effective it has to reach all our communities in the Highlands and Islands.

"That means effective co-ordination across our health boards and there is also likely to be an important role for GP practices, especially in rural areas such as ours.

"I was encouraged that the First Minister referenced the use of mobile vaccination units in her response to my question but to be effective we need to ensure that the vaccine quickly gets to the right people in areas where mobile units are operating which is why local knowledge is so important.

"The key to beating this virus and protecting the NHS is getting the vaccine to the most vulnerable, especially those in our care homes, and I will continue to press the importance of this with ministers."

Related story: NHS Highland gives coronavirus vaccine to more than 3000 people so far

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