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GP cautions Highlanders against 'vaccination fatigue' amid concerns twin-headed Covid and flu threat could overwhelm healthcare services during winter


By Hector MacKenzie

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Dr Ross Jaffrey is urging people to accept flu vaccinations when they become available.
Dr Ross Jaffrey is urging people to accept flu vaccinations when they become available.

A DOCTOR with patients in Ross-shire has appealed to people to rise above "vaccination fatigue" to help avoid a potentially disastrous impact on the local health service over winter.

Dr Ross Jaffrey of the Safe Hands, Saves Lives group, which has been advising on good hygiene habits since the start of the pandemic and offering straight-talking daily updates, made his remarks as figures show hospital Covid bed occupancy creeping towards the 1000 mark in Scotland.

He said of the latest development: "This is really halting routine hospital activity and it’s only September.

"Scotland chooses to go for a 'vaccine passport' to enter certain events/venues from October 2021. Despite the controversy there has been larger uptake since it was announced in younger age groups.

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"Still not sure it will actually prevent cases rises. Self-isolation rules and proper testing status likely to have a greater impact."

And he added a reminder that the influenza vaccine programme is due to start shortly. He stressed: "This is so important in 2021.

"Appreciate there may be vaccine fatigue out there but if we have a double header of flu and Covid, healthcare providers won’t cope over winter. "If you get your invitation please take the opportunity. Again every health board is likely to have a different approach.

"In Highland this most likely will remain with your local GP practice this year. Don’t contact them directly yet unless told to do so by them - keep an eye out for information on practice websites over coming weeks."

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