ONE might have thought with confidence that, in the midst of a corona virus pandemic, the Government and the health authorities would have ensured that the implementation of measures to combat the onset of flu would have been competently and timeously implemented. It looks as if our confidence has been misplaced ("Flu jab ‘shambles’ as older Scots face weeks of waiting", The Herald, October 14)].

While matters have, of course, moved on in medicine, science, experience and research in the last 100 years or so, one has only to think of the influenza pandemic which commenced in 1918 to be reminded of the importance of timeous vaccination today. Then there was a mild spring and summer wave before it dramatically increased in lethal form later in the year with many of those who died being otherwise healthy adults.

To get through the current pandemic, with its fairly draconian counter-measures for society to bear, those in authority must retain the trust of the public. The difficulties arising in the management of the flu vaccination process, are, I fear, contributing to the erosion of that essential trust.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

IN your front page lead article we are told that older Scots face weeks of waiting for a flu jab because NHS GGC (Greater Glasgow and Clyde Heath Board) is using the Scottish Immunisation Recall System (SIRS) to offer appointments for the jab.

Delays are occurring because SIRS was designed for the vaccination of schoolchildren with priority given to the youngest. This is the opposite of the age priority for the flu jab.

Isn't a simple solution to calculate, and store in the relevant spreadsheets or data bank of those in the target population for the jab, a revision of their "real age"? For example, "revised age = 110-real age"'?

Then the oldest become the youngest – at least for a brief moment.

Dr Ben Torsney, Glasgow G11.

HELEN McArdle’s analysis of the current flu vaccination mess made interesting reading.

From a strategic planning perspective I sincerely hope that the lessons learned are already being built in to plans for more efficiently vaccinating those in the population who wish to receive any future Covid-19 vaccine.

Secondly, and again looking at forward planning, is it too much to hope that plans are already under way to devise an interface between an individual’s NHS record and their passport record? When international travel eventually opens up it would be reasonable to predict that any successful visa application would require proof of Covid-19 vaccination. Surely in this technologically advanced era systems could talk to each other.

Stewart Daniels, Cairneyhill.

I FEEL obliged to write regarding your report of a flu jab "shambles". May I say it is not a shambles everywhere.

Some three weeks ago I received a text inviting my wife and I to attend our local GP clinic to have our flu jabs. About the same time we received the normal letter from the local health board warning of the dangers of influenza and advising us to have the jab. Within a week of the text invite we were both immunised.

Obviously there are difficulties in certain areas but to generalise is always dangerous and indeed alarming.

Dan Edgar, Rothesay.

REGARDING recent correspondence about delayed surgery, other treatments and a flu jab "shambles”, it was confirmed in June 2019 that I required knee replacement surgery. The waiting list was 10-12 months. Obviously that was going to be in the middle of lockdown and I was reconciled to a long wait. On September 12 I got a phone call from Raigmore Hospital, Inverness. My operation would take place on Monday, September 28. I am now home and making good progress.

The GP practice in Lairg booked the local community centre, as it has done for some years, for the flu jab session on Tuesday, October 7. Meticulously organised, and by appointment, this went very smoothly. My neighbours, who moved north recently from the English Midlands, are extremely complimentary about the arrangements, comparing them very favourably with their previous experiences in the south. Since I was unable to attend I phoned the health centre and was told I was on the list for a home visit. Yesterday the community nurse called and administered the jab. So, not a shambles everywhere.

Leslie Goskirk, Lairg.

YOUR front-page report has provoked my comments on flu injections here in my area. I am not doubting difficulties in other places because I have listened to friends and relations who have met with obstacles galore.

My surgery deserves my gratitude and admiration for committing three Saturdays to the procedures, starting with the vulnerable group in week one. The following two weeks are organised, alphabetically by surname, and, in common with a number of those to whom I have spoken, these took place with maximum ease – and not a queue in sight.

I went along in my category, and immediately sanitised in the entrance. I had my temperature taken and after giving my details I walked straight in to have the injection, and departed by a different door.

Thank you to the medical teams here in Dunbar for putting patients first.

Olive Bell, Dunbar.

WITH hospitality venues closed for a couple of weeks – in the first instance – the talk now is of "circuit breaking" to suppress or control the virus. It seems clear that the virus can perhaps be suppressed, for a time, while Draconian controls are in place. When they are relieved, the virus pops up again in all its virulence. A stop-go policy may flatten the curve, but its main effect is to draw out the period during which we ourselves are suppressed in ways we could not have imagined. As for controlling the virus – well, yes, as Canute controlled the waves.

It is clear that the return of pupils to schools and students to colleges and universities has led to this new spike in infections. Is the health service being overwhelmed? It does not look like it. Meanwhile businesses languish, producers have no outlet for their work, artists have no income, charities flounder as contributions dry up. Is this the sort of society we wish to live in?

Let the young live, and let the virus run its course. We oldies will just have to protect ourselves as best we can. As for the current lockdown, I have yet to see any evidence to show that restaurants have been responsible for the spike in infection. It is difficult not to suspect that there is a Knoxian motive in all of this. As a former colleague at Glasgow University used to say, we are experiencing the Misery of Scotland Act.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh EH14.

YOU report that the Scottish Parliament will bring in its traffic light system in two weeks' time "when MSPs return from recess in a fortnight" ("Warning of ‘tougher’ three-tier rules in pipeline", The Herald, October 14).

In two weeks' time they will act. At the same time politicians from all over the UK's political divide are screaming about the urgency. A joke, is it April 1?

Peter Gittins, Stirling.

DONALD Trump's recent boasting about his Covid-19 recovery was nauseating and insensitive, particularly for the thousands and thousands of his fellow human beings for whom Covid has brought nothing but fear, misery and despair.

Cathy Baird, Dunipace.

SURELY there should be a ban on door-to-door delivery of advertising leaflets and the like during a period of attempts to control virus spread?

Even during the tightest restrictions this must provide a loophole for the spread of infection.

Kenneth Roberts, Lenzie.