NHS Dumfries & Galloway

COVID cases remain high in region, amid call on vaccinations

A call is being made for people in Dumfries and Galloway to receive both vaccinations against COVID-19 – with a caution that it may just be a matter of time until you encounter the coronavirus.
Although case numbers moved down slightly last week, rates of infection remain high.
As such, everyone eligible is being urged to ensure they receive the protection of two vaccinations – with this offer also now being extended to migrant fishermen on vessels berthed within the region.
Drop-in clinics providing vaccinations to everyone eligible are also now open to crews on boats berthed at harbours such as Kirkcudbright and Stranraer.
Consultant in Public Health Dr Nigel Calvert said: “The longer that high rates of COVID continue, the increased chance that at some point you might encounter the coronavirus.
“The best way to protect your health is to receive both doses of the vaccine, which is a safe form of the virus helping to prepare the body’s own natural immune system for a real-life encounter.
“We’re very keen that everyone across our communities has a chance to be protected against COVID, and as part of that the offer is being made to crews working on fishing vessels to take up the chance when they are berthed in one of the region’s harbours.
“Getting vaccinated is quick, simple and easy, but as we’re seeing from cases it can make a real difference in people’s experiences if they encounter COVID-19.”
The call follows that made by NHS Dumfries and Galloway Chief Executive Jeff Ace, who noted that there were people falling ill with COVID who had not been vaccinated.
Mr Ace said: “We are still seeing unvaccinated individuals who are continuing to become seriously ill and are continuing to progress to critical care. That is so frustrating because vaccination is very easy, it is very safe and it is very available.”
Noting the availability of vaccination for anyone still to take up the opportunity, Mr Ace added: “We will provide the opportunity for double vaccination, and this does provide a tremendous level of protection against serious illness.”
Thanks are being expressed for a tremendous public response to the vaccination programme. So far, 95.5 per cent of adults aged 18 plus have received a first dose, with the national average standing at 91.3 per cent. And 90 per cent have received both doses, with the national average 84 per cent.
Total first dose vaccinations stands at 116,736 and second doses stand at 110,065.
A fantastic response has been seen among those aged 18 to 29, where first doses stand at 83.7 per cent. The national average is 74.8 per cent.
And so far 74.8 per cent of those aged 16 to 17 have received their first dose, against a national average of 58.1 per cent.
Full details of opportunities to be vaccinated can be found by visiting the website www.nhsdg.co.uk/vaccines/