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Vaccine walk-in clinic opens at Pollock Halls

A vaccine pop-up clinic has opened at the University of Edinburgh’s Pollock Halls accommodation, offering appointment-free covid vaccinations to students and the public.

The clinic is open seven days a week from 12 noon to 7pm and does not require those receiving the vaccine to be registered with a GP.

The opening of this vaccination pop-up clinic comes after declining rates of vaccine uptake amongst 16 to 29-year-olds living in Scotland.

The clinic has offered a solution for students who have not been able to organise a vaccine appointment through the online portal at NHS Inform. 

One University of Edinburgh fourth-year student told The Student:

“I had my first jab at home in England but then came back up for the start of term and missed my second dose appointment.

“Going down the road to Pollock was so much easier than spending ages on the phone trying to get an appointment somewhere.”

The proximity of the clinic to first-year halls of residence has made it easier for students who have just moved to Scotland, many of whom are also not currently registered with a local GP, to get fully vaccinated.

So far, 75.5 per cent of 18 to 29-year-olds across the UK have had their first jab, with 59.9 per cent having had both coronavirus vaccine doses.

Vaccine uptake in this age bracket had risen steeply from the beginning of the rollout in mid-June, but there is now concern that the curve is starting to level out earlier than for older age groups.

Data from Public Health Scotland shows that for those aged 55 to 59, 95 per cent of this cohort have had at least one jab before the rate levelled off, while in 30 to 39-year-olds the rate levelled off at 75 per cent.

It is not known exactly where vaccine uptake rate will level off in the age group 18 to 29, however, the trend suggests it will be lower again.

Speaking to The Student, a second-year student explained why she had not had her second jab yet, saying:

“Over summer when all restrictions got lifted, me and a lot of my friends got covid.

“The NHS say you have to wait 28 days before you can get vaccinated so we all had to push it back.”

When asked about covid vaccine passports, and if this had affected her choice to get vaccinated, she said:

“Everyone I know wanted to get vaccinated anyway. I don’t think it changes anything; I just think some people will be annoyed if they can’t get their second appointment two weeks before then.”

Friday 17th September will be the last day to get the second jab, in order to be fully vaccinated two weeks later when vaccine passports are introduced on October 1st.

This may be a problem for students under 18, of whom less than 10 per cent have received both doses, due to the later addition of the age group 16 to 17 to the vaccine rollout.

The Scottish government announced on Friday 6 August, that all 16 and 17-year-olds would be offered the coronavirus vaccine at ‘convenient’ vaccine drop-in clinics such as the one at Pollock Halls.

Students have also been made aware of the new vaccine clinic through text messages from the University of Edinburgh, which includes a link to their dedicated vaccination webpage.

The university has said it’s “really important” that students get vaccinated and that they “strongly encourage students to get fully vaccinated before they return to University”.

Image: Wikimedia Commons