All over 18s in Moray are now expected to have been offered their Covid vaccines within the next two weeks.
The programme has been accelerated in the region by NHS Grampian amid a surge of cases in Elgin and surrounding communities in recent weeks.
Opening hours at the Fiona Elcock Vaccination Centre have been extended to 10pm to accommodate the faster rollout.
‘Enormous interest’ in Moray vaccine rollout
Large queues have formed outside the Edgar Road retail park unit in Elgin at times in recent days for walk-up appointments.
Now it has now been confirmed that all over 18s in the region will now have been offered an appointment before the end of the month – if not sooner.
Moray Council leader Graham Leadbitter said: “I had discussions with the deputy first minister, the chief medical officer and Chris Littlejohn from NHS Grampian on Monday.
“He was updating me that the expectation is that every adult over 18 should be offered an appointment by the end of the month and hopefully it can be quicker than that.
“We’re a couple of weeks away from that achievement, a tremendous number of vaccines have been administered.
“Significant numbers of people have been turning up for the walk-in offer now available at the Fiona Elcock Centre.
“The important thing to remember is to be patient and if it’s busy people may be asked to go away and come back again.”
#MORAY COVID-19 Vaccination Acceleration 18-39 yearsNHS Grampian has taken the decision to accelerate the delivery of…
NHS Grampian has reported “enormous interest” in its accelerated vaccine rollout in Moray, which will still include second doses being administered within 12 weeks of the first jab.
Meanwhile, health officials have confirmed the programme will not mean Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire residents will receive their vaccinations any slower than they would have done.
Level 3 in Moray likely to last ‘days, not weeks’
The accelerated vaccination programme in Moray comes as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed it is “highly probable” the region will be held at Level 3 Covid restrictions longer than the rest of Scotland.
However, Mr Leadbitter has confirmed the delay is likely to be “days rather than weeks” amid hopes case numbers will begin to drop soon.
He said: “We have secured a number of assurances from Scottish Government ministers and officials about the situation.
“One of them was holding off making a final decision so that we can have a bit more time to see if the numbers will reduce.
“If there is an extension of Level 3 then it should be for the shortest period of time, it’s in nobody’s interest for that to be a fixed period of time, so it will be kept under continuous review.
“It will basically be a matter of days rather than weeks that we will be in that situation.
“Everyone realises we are on the right track in Moray.”
Testing sites are operational in:
Days and times in the link below. And remember – you can still order lateral flow tests online for delivery to your door.https://t.co/PYnxdItUzK
— Moray Council (@MorayCouncil) May 11, 2021
Testing facilities expanded
Moray Council and NHS Grampian have rolled out expanded testing facilities within the last week to help control the spread.
Experts have said that until now the cases have not been confined to a single cluster with community transmission driving the surge in Elgin and neighbouring towns and villages.
Mr Leadbitter added: “Public health is very clear there is no significant transmission in schools.
“There are cases in schools because there is transmission in the wider community, and schools are part of the community, but they are satisfied the mitigation measures in place there are very satisfactory.”