The number of vaccination appointments in East Lothian is set to more than double when two clinics are merged into one bigger, busier hub.
The vaccination clinic in East Lothian Community Hospital (ELCH) will close next week and appointments, staff and vaccine will be transferred to the nearby Haddington Corn Exchange as part of the bid to boost the programme and beat OMICRON.
The move, which is part of the nationwide acceleration plan, will consolidate the teams of admin and vaccinators into one centre and provide more physical space.
It means that the number of weekly pre-booked and drop-in appointments will surge from 3200 in ELCH to 7700 in the combined clinic and free up more vaccinators to provide vital community outreach, like the vaccination bus.
Alison Macdonald, Chief Officer of East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, said the hub will help ensure that as many adults as possible are “Boosted By The Bells” and receive their booster dose of the vaccine by December 31.
She added: “We need to make sure that we can vaccinate as many people as possible to ensure they have the vital protection required. We must accelerate the programme and this move will help East Lothian achieve that.
“If we consolidate both clinics into one bigger centre, we will instantly be able to boost the number of doses of the lifesaving vaccine that can be delivered in one day.
“The hub will enable us to consolidate staff, create resilience and ensure senior clinical support is available, rather than try to spread teams across two clinics that are so close together.
“And if in the future we require to extend even further, there would be potential within the building whereas we did not have that scope within ELCH.
“A significant amount of effort has gone into the preparation of the site to ensure that it runs as quickly and smoothly as possible and I would like to thank all of our teams for their hard work and dedication.”
The ELCH vaccination clinic will close its doors for the final time on Hogmanay before the combined hub opens on January 3.
ELCH currently provides 460 appointments a day and has capacity of around 3220 a week.
Musselburgh Primary Care Centre which works on an appointment only system will continue to work alongside the Haddington Corn Exchange and will provide around 1610 appointments every week.
In the meantime, Haddington Corn Exchange is open today, Friday 24th December, administering COVID booster jabs from 8:30am – 4:30pm. It is closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day, then open again:
December 27th – December 30th - 8:30am – 6pm
December 31st – 8:30am – 4:30pm
Appointments can be made online here - https://www.nhsinform.scot/vaccinebooking