Over 70s queueing for their Covid booster jabs have reportedly experienced two-hour waits in Tayside.
Some were left standing outside the Dewars Centre in Perth due to “unplanned staff absences” on Tuesday.
The Dewars Centre has been used as a drop-in clinic throughout the pandemic and began delivering booster vaccines after the rollout was approved by the Scottish Government.
Rae Metcalf, 86, said: “Friends who have already been are speaking of two hour waits, with insufficient seating.
“And a friend who went this morning stood outside in the cold for an hour.”
‘I’m not the only old person in poor health’
Mrs Metcalf, who has health issues, is concerned about her own booster appointment and is even unsure if she’ll be able to attend.
She explains: “I have heart failure and osteoarthritis. I’m not the only old person in poor health.
“I can’t stand for any length of time and that’s not unusual for older people.
“Nobody wants to stand about and that’s one of the worst things if you have any kind of circulatory troubles.
“I want to get this jab, but I’m not going if I have to stand in a queue like that. And I don’t think I’m the only one thinking like that.”
‘It will put older people off’
Long queues and waits at vaccine clinics have left locals confused about the logistics of how they attend their appointments.
Mrs Metcalf continues: “One friend who is 91 was going to take a taxi there, ask it to wait for her and bring her home again.
“But obviously if you have an hour or more to stand in a queue, that’s not going to be possible.
“I think it will put older people off. My appointment is next week and if the situation does not improve, I’m just not going.
“But what I’ll do thereafter, I don’t know.”
‘Minimal delays reported today’
A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said: “Some people experienced a longer wait at our vaccination centres in Dewars Centre in Perth and Dundee City Centre yesterday.
“We would like to apologise for that and thank people for their patience.
“Unfortunately, due to a number of unplanned staff absences, there were fewer vaccinators than planned on these sites which led to people having to wait longer than we would like.
“There have been minimal delays reported today at either site.
“In the event of delays, wherever possible, patients will be brought inside to wait rather than waiting outside the buildings.
“In circumstances where patients are physically unable to wait in queues, seating areas are available near the entrance of both vaccination centres.
“Wheelchairs are also available on site if required.”