‘I’m very sorry’ Sturgeon forced into embarrassing apology as Scots denied booster jabs

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Some Scots turned up to get a booster jab on the advice of the Government – but were instead turned back. The Scots in question were rejected from the booster after “glitches in the system” as protocols were updated.

New rules mean people are able to get a booster jab three months after their second dose, rather than having to wait six months like before.

However, the First Minister vowed she was “very sorry” for those that missed their appointments.

Ms Sturgeon said: “When advice changes, because this is a clinical procedure there is a process of updating the protocols and materials to make sure everything is being done in line with protocol.

“In the normal course of events that would take around a week, that has happened now already and we have taken steps to make sure that information has been cascaded down to vaccine clinics everywhere across Scotland.

“Let me stress it was a small number of people, and they can go onto the website and rebook now if they are over that three month period.”

Kelda, 43, who lives in Linlithgow, was one of the people who were impacted by the issues faced.

After turning up at Pyramids Business Park in Bathgate on Thursday, Kelda was turned away – despite following the advice given by the Government in the media.

She said: “I changed my booster appointment from 24 weeks to this week, which is 20 weeks after my second one, based on the advice I saw that over-40s could bring theirs forward,” she said.

“When I arrived today, I was told by the receptionist who reviewed it that ‘you have not reached 24 weeks yet, you can’t receive it today’.

“When I asked if she had seen the news, she said, ‘Yes, but we haven’t been advised that we can give it to you yet’.

“She told me I had to go away and rebook.”

Kelda then tried to book another appointment on the website, but was unable to “because it now thinks I have had my booster”.

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She continued: “So I phoned NHS Inform this afternoon to get them to book one, but they still wouldn’t book me an appointment until after 24 weeks.

“So I now have one for 10 January.

“Again when I explained what the FM has been saying on TV, she said; ‘Absolutely not. We haven’t had that guidance’.

“It is massively inconvenient to be messed about like this in the middle of a working day.

“I just wanted to get the booster because I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Ms Sturgeon made clear that attempts were being made to resolve the situation.

The First Minister said: “The vaccine programme continues to go well.

“As I have said candidly on a number of occasions, particularly when advice changes very quickly there may be glitches in the system like we saw yesterday.

“We try to avoid that happening, but when it does we take steps to rectify that as quickly as possible.”

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