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Covid boosters being given in Aviemore today

By Gavin Musgrove

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A short queue during a murky start to the day to get into the main hall where Covid boosters are being administered.
A short queue during a murky start to the day to get into the main hall where Covid boosters are being administered.

Aviemore's first open Covid booster clinic since government leaders warned people to get protected ASAP because of the danger posed by the Omicron variant is under way.

There were short queues for those with early appointments after the doors opened at 9am at the village's community centre.

People need to make an appointment through the NHS portal in order to get their booster. Several people turned up in the early morning without a prior booking only to be politely turned away.

Local Highland councillors have welcomed boosters finally being given in Aviemore.

A vaccination clinic planned for Saturday was postponed a week ago due to staffing issues with NHS Highland finally confirming arrangements on Tuesday.

The session being held by NHS Highland is due to continue until 4pm.

Local Highland councillor Bill Lobban (Independent) said: “At long last the forgotten village of Aviemore is having a Covid booster clinic and not before time.

"Whilst frontline NHS Highland staff supported by the military have been working miracles the same cannot be said about the organisation as a whole which has been chaotic to say the least.

"The clear advice is to get yourself jagged but to do that clinics need to be readily available and well publicised.

"Hopefully this welcome change for the better will continue until we are all vaccinated."

Fellow local councillor Muriel Cockburn (SNP) said: “I am pleased that at last the people of Aviemore are getting local much needed access for vaccinations.

"Many residents have travelled to get their booster which is not ideal at this time of year.

"I urge people who have not been vaccinated to attend the clinics to protect themselves and others.”

No flu jags will be administered. The UK and Scottish governments are prioritising Covid boosters given the surge in Omicron cases across the UK.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said last Tuesday (December 14): “The most important thing we can all do to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19 is to get our vaccinations and boosters when eligible.

"The vaccines we have are highly effective and safe and I urge anyone who is eligible and not yet vaccinated to book an appointment."

But frustration grew in Aviemore with no local arrangements for Covid boosters and eligible people having to travel to other centres with Inverness being the closest.

Most people aged over 50 in the Aviemore area have been able to get their booster safeguard through invites to clinics held before the Omicron variant took hold, with those younger having to wait or travel.

• Visit here for latest clinic information and for link to make bookings.

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