Nicola Sturgeon said she is not blaming anyone after a “particularly high” number of people failed to turn up for coronavirus vaccines over the weekend.
Reports indicated that approximately half of all of those due to be vaccinated at Glasgow’s Hydro centre on Saturday and Sunday did not show up amid efforts to speed up Scotland’s vaccination programme.
The First Minister also confirmed that more people are now missing appointments through no-shows compared with the start of the vaccine rollout.
Ms Sturgeon insisted that “nobody is pointing any fingers” of blame about the no-shows but stressed the importance of everyone getting a vaccine when offered.
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, she said: “At some sites over the weekend, we saw quite a high level of non-attendance for appointments which had been scheduled, although it is important to stress the overall uptake rates remain incredibly high.
“It’s also important to say that when people don’t attend, there will be a variety of reasons for this and some of them will not be down to the individual.
“So nobody is pointing any fingers here.
“On the contrary, we all have to work together to make sure we get uptake rates and keep uptake rates as high as we need them to be.
“For all of us that means recognising that getting vaccinated is about protecting ourselves, but it’s also part of our civic duty to each other and to our wider communities.”
She suggested that wrong addresses, work commitments and younger people who do not feel as high risk as older age groups could be some of the reasons for missed appointments, but the government was “trying to understand that in as much depth as possible” and then “rectify” the problems.
Ms Sturgeon said: “We need to try to accommodate as much flexibility within the system as possible.”
In a plea to Scots who may have missed their appointment or not received an invitation, she added: “Anyone who thinks they should have had an appointment but hasn’t – and in some cases this may be because you’ve moved house recently, for example – please go on to the NHS Inform website to arrange an appointment.
“The vaccination section of the site has a section on missing appointment details which provides a form you can submit.
“Alternatively, you can call the hotline on 0800 030 8013.”