Opposition MSPs fear Hydro vaccine site being closed too early

The vaccination centre at the Hydro, the biggest in Glasgow should stay open until all adults have been vaccinated MSPs have said.

Labour and Conservative politicians in Glasgow said it was not the time to be closing the centre with the most capacity when the aim is to get more people vaccinated.

The centre is to close on Sunday with health bosses saying it will be handed back to the SEC to be used as the UN SOP 26 venue in November.

Instead people are being told to one of 17 hubs across Glasgow from Monday instead.

Pauline McNeill Labour, Glasgow MSP said: “We are in a race to get people vaccinated against the virus.

HeraldScotland:

“We need this open longer, at least until the August 9 date by which we need to get everyone vaccinated.

“We should keep it open until everyone is double vaccinated. We should not be closing the biggest venue.”

Annie Wells, Conservatvie MSP for Glasgow said: “Just as we head towards the finishing line, the SNP are overseeing a slowing down in Scotland’s vaccination rollout.

“They are set to miss their own targets and hundreds of thousands of adults are still set to be waiting on getting their first dose.

HeraldScotland:

“People will understandably be confused as to why the decision has been taken to close the country’s largest vaccination centre.

“While preparations for the COP26 summit ultimately have to be made, there are concerns that capacity in the vaccine rollout could be lost at such a critical point as a result of taking this decision now.

The Scottish Government said it will not affect capacity for vaccinations.

Humza Yousaf, Health Secretary said: “By close of play on Sunday every adult in the NHSGGC area who attended their scheduled appointment will have received their first dose but we urge anyone who hasn’t come forward for whatever reason to pop into the Hydro as staff mark its final day as a vaccination centre.

HeraldScotland:

“It is now time for the site to be handed over in preparation for COP26 as was always the intention. The transition from the Hydro will be seamless with no negative impact on vaccination capacity and appointments have been allocated to alternative clinics, although of course, people can always head along to one of the many drop-in clinics now operating in the area if they prefer.

“As ever I continue to urge everyone to take up their offer of a vaccine, be it first or second dose. It is the best route out of this pandemic and the best way to protect yourself, your family and friends and your community.”

Local health chiefs said the Hydro has played its part hundreds of thousands of people vaccinated.

A team of around 3000 vaccinators have worked across the programme at the Hydro with thousands of doses administered.

Jane Grant, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde chief executive, said: “The SSE Hydro and NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital have both played a really significant role in enabling NHSGGC to deliver our vaccination programme.

“I want to personally thank all staff who have been working so tirelessly at the SEC campus, from our vaccinators, support and logistics staff, admin teams, site security and everyone who has helped behind the scenes to enable so many people to receive their vaccination.

“Likewise to the members of the public who have come forward and rolled up their sleeves already, thank you for doing so.”

Meanwhile Labour has said that thousands of people have been left hanging on the telephone waiting for enquiries about vaccine appointments to be answered. They said that people have given up on calls as they were left waiting.

statistics show that on every weekday between 17 May and 9 June, over a quarter of calls to the helpline were abandoned.

The party obtained figures that showed in May alone, over 20 per cent of all calls were abandoned, rising to 32 per cent for the last two weeks of the month.

It said an increase in wait times came as the volume of calls to the helpline increased – there were over 670,000 calls to the helpline in May and almost 200,000 in the first nine days of June alone.

Jackie Baillie, Labour Health Spokeswoman said:“It is deeply worrying that thousands of Scots who are seeking help or guidance on the vaccine programme are being left hanging on the telephone or having to give up without answers.

HeraldScotland:

“We simply cannot have thousands going without the help and guidance that they need.

“It is the duty of the Scottish Government to ensure that the vaccine helpline is fit for purpose.”

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