Hundreds of vulnerable homeless people are receiving their first Covid-19 vaccinations in Glasgow as teams of nurses visit temporary accommodation and support services to provide injections.
Glasgow's Health & Social Care Partnership is co-ordinating the huge logistical operation in a bid to reach people whose transient and often chaotic lifestyles would have hindered attendance at vaccination centres.
Nurses from the city's Homeless Health Outreach Service are carrying out vaccinations at up to 50 locations across the city including, the Homeless Services centre in Hunter Street and the city's Homeless Hub in Argyle St as well as visiting hotels and numerous other accommodation. This major mobile operation was launched in a bid to ensure as many vulnerable service users as possible receive the vaccine to protect themselves and others against Covid-19.
Jim McBride, Head of Glasgow's Homeless Services, said: "It's important that homeless people get access to Covid-19 vaccinations for their own protection and that of the wider community. We don't want anyone in society to fall through the net, and reaching people with chaotic and transient lifestyles via the usual appointment system could have been problematic. Taking the vaccine to our service users, many of whom have underlying health issues, has proved much more efficient and, I'm happy to say, it has resulted in good take-up of vaccinations.
"Our Homeless Health Outreach team has been providing health and social care services to homeless people accommodated in hotels and other temporary accommodation throughout the pandemic. This is an extension of that care provision for this vulnerable group. Vaccinations are continuing and people will be offered the second dose within 12 weeks of their first one."
The homeless vaccination outreach programme is ongoing until the end of this week and is also being offered to asylum seekers in the city who have been provided with translated information and support services. So far almost 550 people in total have been vaccinated as part of this proactive approach.
The HSCP is working with partners including the Asylum Health Bridging Team, the British Red Cross, Mears Group, commissioned services and accommodation providers to deliver vaccinations. Frontline staff working with homeless people who had not yet had their first vaccination also received the Astra Zeneca jags. Younger homeless people will be vaccinated in coming months with an alternative vaccine.