Coronavirus: One in seven vaccines appointments gone to waste in Scotland

One in seven vaccines appointments has gone to waste in Scotland in the first five months of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

New figures, obtained by The Scotsman, showed that 360,000 vaccines went to waste from December to May with one in seven no-shows at appointments across the country. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus Scotland: When – and how – will physical distancing end in the NHS?

The figures from eight boards, including those covering the metropolitan areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh, are also likely to underestimate with 6 boards unable to provide figures and others only partially reporting.

The figures showed that patients had failed to attend 360,760 of the 2,639,337 appointments booked. There were 31,155 no-shows for second jabs.

Greater Glasgow saw 20.5 per cent of appointments going to waste – more than one in five.

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Annie Wells said the high rate of people not turning up for their appointments was “concerning” saying: “It is welcome that the success of the vaccination scheme has meant Scotland has eased further restrictions this week.

“However, we know that the SNP are still on course to fall well short of their own vaccination targets, including fully vaccinating all adults by September 12.”

Scottish Labour’s health and Covid recovery spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: ”

“Earlier in the programme we saw widespread reports of letters being sent to old addresses and difficulty rearranging appointments – all of which can lead to missed appointments.

“The SNP must fix these basic problems and ensure it is as easy as possible for everyone to get vaccinated at a time and place that suits them. We cannot afford to take our eye off the ball during this all-important final stretch.”

READ MORE: Covid Scotland: 1,542 new cases and eight further deaths confirmed

A Scottish Government spokesperson told The Scotsman: “Scotland’s vaccination programme is an overwhelming success and is one of the fastest vaccination programmes anywhere in the world. As of August 12, we have vaccinated 90 per cent of adults aged 18 and over with first doses and 76 per cent with second doses.

“While a small number of individuals may choose not to attend their scheduled appointment, some people may be unable to attend at a set time and will be vaccinated at a later date.

“We are working to make it as simple as possible for people, particularly those in younger age groups, to get their vaccines. We are increasing the options available for how and when people choose to be vaccinated, including drop-in mobile centres, which have visited a range of sites such as football grounds, parks, workplaces and shopping centres.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992