Young people aged 5 to 11 years old who have specific medical conditions which place them at greater risk from the coronavirus will be invited for their first vaccination from this week onwards.

They will be contacted by health boards directly, so parents do not need to book an appointment for their child.

Those aged 5 to 11 whose household contacts of people with immune suppression will be invited to receive their vaccination in due course.

Letters will also be sent to young people who are aged 12-15 who are at particular clinical risk from covid-19 inviting them for a booster, 12 weeks after their last primary dose.

In the mean time, second doses are now available for all 12 to 15 year olds who have had their first dose at least 12 weeks ago. This cohort can book an appointment online on the NHS Inform website or go to a drop in clinic, where parent and carers are welcome to accompany them.

Anyone aged 16-17 can book their booster online for 12 weeks after their second dose. They can also visit a drop in clinic.

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Christina McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse said:

 “This shows the continued success of Scotland’s vaccination programme thanks to the Scottish Government and all the health boards across Scotland which have allowed many Scots get their 2 vaccines as well as their booster.

“A massive thanks to all the people who have worked so hard across Scotland and in my constituency to make sure Scotland’s people are being protected as best as they can against COVID-19 to get their vaccines. Your work does not go unnoticed!

“I am urging all my constituents to get their vaccines, both first and second dose, and their booster, to not only protect themselves but those around them.”

This year, more mental health and wellbeing services will be provided within GP practices and community settings, backed by significant investment from the Scottish Government of upto £40 million a year. 

Patients who need mental health support will find a range of professionals available through their doctor’s surgery, rather than having to rely solely on their GP or a referral elsewhere with the new system.

Funding of £1.5 million has already been made available from the Mental Health Recovery and Renewal Fund. This will increase annually to support implementation of the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Primary Care Services, reaching an expected £40 million per year by 2024-25. This could amount to more than £100 million by the end of this Parliament, substantially increasing the mental health workforce and transforming how support is delivered.

Christina McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse said:

"During the pandemic, mental ill health was a major health challenge in Scotland as well as across the world. This is why mental health has remained a priority throughout our response to COVID-19.

"Around 1 in three of all GP consultations now has a mental health component. But the range and complexity of issues requires a more varied and comprehensive response.

"This new funding will deliver the Scottish Governments commitment of providing 1,000 additional dedicated mental health staff by 2026, supporting communities to improve their mental health.

"Mental health will continue to be a priority of the Scottish Government and I hope to see this funding being used in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, as well as the rest of Scotland.”

NHS Lanarkshire is supporting residents to stick to their new years resolutions by raising awareness of the free NHS online weight management programme over 12 weeks.

This programme is designed for over 18’s and is a programme which encourages healthier behaviour choices, that then turn into positive daily habits.

Each week of the programme varies to include:

    A wide range of easy-to-follow wellbeing topics

  • ·Tips from others who have successfully gone through a similar journey
  • ·Weekly tasks, such as completing a lifestyle diary, checking nutrition levels on food labels or planning meals for the week

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Christina McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton Larkhall and Stonehouse said:

“Covid has made it really hard to try and stay healthly, especially with gyms closing and shops being short on supplies.

“Having a new year’s resolution and sticking to it can be very difficult for everyone, which is why this programme was designed to focus on long term behaviour changes which then make a positive difference to our lifestyle.

“There is lots of evidence showing that being active and eating well affects both mental and physical health. This is a free programme and for those who are considering making positive changes, this support will be massively helpful.”

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