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Call for dentists, optometrists and former NHS staff to become Covid vaccinators

Everyone aged over 18 will be offered a booster jab by the end of January.

Daniel Harkins
Thursday 09 December 2021 17:00 GMT
Jason Leitch will join the vaccination programme (Jane Barlow/PA)
Jason Leitch will join the vaccination programme (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

Jason Leitch has encouraged dentists, optometrists and former NHS staff to join the coronavirus vaccination team as he signed up to administer jabs himself.

The national clinical director will give booster vaccines to adults and second doses to 16 and 17-year-olds in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) area.

It comes as the programme ramps up to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.

Everyone aged over 18 is to be offered a booster jab by the end of January, with 40 to 49-year-olds currently being invited to make an appointment from 12 weeks after their second dose.

Jason Leitch (left) visits an ICU and infectious diseases unit at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie (Jeff J Mitchell/PA) (PA Archive)

Prof Leitch said giving vaccinations “when I can alongside my main role” would be a “real privilege”.

He said he would “warmly welcome any former NHS employees” who wanted to become a vaccinator and that they would receive full training.

“Even a shift a week will help, so if you’re a dentist, a nurse, an optometrist or a doctor and you can help us, then please contact your local health board,” he said.

“Every vaccine dose given is another step out of the pandemic. If you don’t have a clinical background, it’s not a problem, you can still assist the programme in another capacity through the British Red Cross.

“We have accepted the JCVI’s updated recommendations and aim to offer the booster vaccine to everyone aged 18 or older who is eligible by the end of January and we would love some more vaccinators to join our incredibly national programme to assist us through this particularly busy period.”

Anne Harkness, vaccination programme director at NHSGGC, said: “In the last year, our vaccination team at NHSGGC have administered more than 2.1 million jags, working with the public to protect our communities.

“We are continuing to build our pool of vaccinators and we are delighted to welcome Jason to the vaccination team and wish him – and all the new recruits – well.”

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