Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is providing essential partnership support to NHS Western Isles to deliver a mass COVID-19 vaccination programme.
A key part of the programme is the use of the Lewis Sports Centre as a Vaccination Centre.
Sports Facilities Manager Tony Wade said, “ We are keen to assist the NHS Vaccination programme in any way we can and we are pleased to be able to offer up the Lewis Sports Centre as a Vaccination Centre. Currently this will be the only sports facility being used but it is likely that more of our facilities will be made use of.
During these difficult times it is important we work together to ensure the Vaccination Programme is as successful as possible. I would also like to make it clear that we will be continuing to offer our current restricted gym services to the public through our online booking system. “
NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson said: “This is the biggest mass vaccination programme ever seen by the NHS and it involves a significant amount of work, planning and preparation. We are very grateful to the Comhairle staff for the invaluable support they are providing by assisting with the provision and organisation of premises to enable us to provide mass vaccination clinics in the town of Stornoway. These clinics will help us to deliver more vaccinations, more quickly, to the eligible groups.”
The mass vaccination programme involves nationally defined priority groups, and NHS Western Isles is currently working through the programme to vaccinate everyone eligible within the priority groups. Already, residents and staff within care homes for older adults have been vaccinated along with patient facing NHS staff. Those aged 80 and over are currently being vaccinated.
Social Care staff were of course a priority when distributing vaccinations and many Social Care staff have been vaccinated.
Head of Community Care Jack Libby said, “The uptake from staff has been very good. The numbers of staff receiving the vaccine is continuing to increase, and we continue to encourage those remaining staff who are in the categories of those able to accept the vaccine, to make arrangements with their Health colleagues to have the vaccine.
Staff are aware that the vaccine plays a critical role in protecting vulnerable service users from COVID, and the safety and wellbeing of service users is the priority of all social care staff.”