Call to reinstate Westhill vaccination centre as elderly forced into 30-mile round trip for second booster

Calls have been made to reinstate a vaccination centre in Westhill over concerns that elderly residents are missing out on their second booster.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 8:13 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 8:13 am
Due to no vaccination centre in Westhill, elderly residents are now facing a 30-mile trip to get the top-up jab and are missing out on their second booster
Due to no vaccination centre in Westhill, elderly residents are now facing a 30-mile trip to get the top-up jab and are missing out on their second booster

Alexander Burnett, Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West has voiced concerns that those in the town aged over-75 are left facing a 30-mile round trip to get their top-up jab.

Mr Burnett has written to NHS Grampian calling on the health board to reinstate the vaccination centre.

In the letter, he suggested areas such as Ashdale Hall, Trinity Church, Westhill Scout Hut and the Holiday Inn as suitable locations for a vaccination facility.

However, the health board said it wasn’t possible to reinstate a centre in Westhill due to the “scale and geographical challenges” associated with the area.

Mr Burnett said: “We know the virus is still circulating yet the elderly in places like Westhill are missing out on their jab as there is no vaccination centre locally in the town.

“The Spring booster offers additional protection to those most at risk of severe illness from Covid.

“Therefore, it’s completely unacceptable to expect people who are over-75 to take a bus into Aberdeen for their jab when there should be a vaccination centre available to them in a place the size of Westhill.

“It’s vital that the elderly have easy access to a vaccination centre.”

In her response, Chief Executive Caroline Hiscox said: “We try to accommodate as many citizens as close to their home as possible. Unfortunately given the scale and geographic challenges in Aberdeenshire this is not always possible.”

“There was a spring booster vaccination clinic held in Westhill Academy at the start of April and 320 people over the age of 75 years attended.

“Due to the added complexity of time between boosters this means that not all people over the age of 75 years in the area would have been eligible for a booster at the same time.”