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Transplant patients to be prioritised in Covid-19 vaccine roll-out

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has been urged, by her own party colleague Kevin Stewart, to intervene.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman

Patients awaiting transplant operations are to be granted priority status in the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine, government officials have confirmed.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman raised the matter of prioritising patients with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) following a call to action by Highland MSP Edward Mountain.

The conservative MSP raised the issue during constituency questions with the First Minister last week after receiving a number of requests by concerned constituents.

The JCVI have now confirmed transplant patients would be placed within priority group four due to their vulnerability to the virus.

The cabinet secretary said: “We agree that individuals awaiting transplant should also be given priority status and can confirm individuals awaiting a transplant will be treated as a priority grouping from the point that they are due to start their immunosuppressive therapy and should be vaccinated before they start treatment.”

Nicola Sturgeon to consider prioritising transplant patients in roll-out of Covid vaccine

Mr Mountain welcomed the news.

He said:  “Those awaiting transplants can now breathe a huge sigh of relief as they will be prioritised for the vaccine – I am delighted with this news.

“An organ transplant is the greatest gift anyone can give or receive and we need to give those awaiting their operation the best chance of being Covid-free when they are eventually called in.

“The vaccine must now be rolled out to patients awaiting transplants as a matter of urgency.”

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