Second protective booster jags against Covid-19 are under way across the region for vulnerable people aged 75-plus and those aged 12 and over who are immune-suppressed.
Also, in this latest major round of Covid vaccinations, first dose jags are to be offered to young people aged five to 11 during the next four weeks by local teams.
Vaccinations will be offered over the first week of the Easter holidays and at weekends until the end of April.
The extra pressure means drop-in vaccination clinics for everyone else have been suspended.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway vaccination co-ordinator Dr Nigel Calvert said it will be “an extremely busy period” for the staff who will be “providing second boosters to some of those most vulnerable to the effects of the virus and providing a first round of defence to young people aged five to 11”.
He said that everyone within these groups will receive an appointment letter and he asks them to “patiently” await details of time and location.
He said: “We aim to provide second boosters to those aged 75 plus once 24 weeks past their last jag
and appointments are being sent out once people have reached that point.
“Over 75s are being appointed through a national system and we are aware of some local issues where people have been appointed some distance from where they live.
“We’d ask anyone who thinks this might apply to them – when their letter arrives – to contact us locally so that we can arrange an appointment closer to where they live.
“All of this is a major undertaking and is stretching our tireless vaccination teams. In order to support this work, drop-in clinics which had been operating in the region have been temporarily placed on hold. Our plan is to review local provision of drop-in clinics again on April 11.
“In the meantime, we recognise that some people may be due a follow-up vaccination, or may still be seeking their first, and would encourage them to get in touch locally by calling 01387 403090 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm,
or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .”
“As we’ve seen demonstrated locally and nationally, being fully vaccinated provides the highest degree of defence against what can still be a very nasty virus and helps us towards some sense of normality.
“We’d encourage everyone to take up every vaccination opportunity extended to them as it does provide the best chance to help protect them and their communities.”