The Scottish Government has confirmed that those awaiting transplant operations will soon be granted priority status for the Covid-19 vaccine by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation.
Highlands and Islands MSP Edward Mountain brought this issue to national attention when he raised it during a session of First Minister’s Questions on 13 January 2020.
In response, the First Minister said she would expect transplant patients to be prioritised by the JCVI and that the Cabinet Secretary for Health would investigate the matter.
Following that investigation, the Cabinet Secretary has now confirmed:
“We are pleased to confirm patients who have received their transplant sit within priority group 4 on the JCVI Priority List due to their vulnerable person status.
“Thank you for acknowledging the tremendous effort which has gone in to identifying the priorities for vaccine delivery. We agree that individuals awaiting transplant should also be given priority status and can confirm individuals awaiting a transplant will be treated as a priority grouping from the point that they are due to start their immunosuppressive therapy and should be vaccinated before they start treatment.
“In summary, all people awaiting a transplant will now be prioritised, without this being reliant on their clinical condition(s). We expect confirmation by way of a formal announcement from the JCVI any day now.”
Edward Mountain MSP commented:
“Those awaiting transplants can now breathe a huge sigh of relief as they will be prioritised for the vaccine - I am delighted with this news.
“I had been contacted by patients and clinicians who were deeply concerned with the risk that many people could miss out on an organ donation if they hadn’t received the vaccine.
“An organ transplant is the greatest gift anyone can give or receive and we need to give those awaiting their operation the best chance of being Covid-free when they are eventually called in.
“The vaccine must now be rolled out to patients awaiting transplants as a matter of urgency.”