IT was astounding to read that half the people due to get the Covid vaccine at the Hydro in Glasgow over the weekend failed to turn up ("Half of appointments for vaccine jag missed at hub", The Herald, May 25). Whether this was due to letters going astray or people deciding not to get vaccinated we will not know. Surely it is now time to let those anxious get their first or second jabs to book online. This would avoid hundreds of phone calls to the help line or worry about letters going astray.

One can only hope that the vaccines set aside for the weekend in Glasgow can still be used. Two members of my family in their early 40s are still waiting for their first jab and would happily have turned up at the Hydro at short notice over the weekend to receive their first jab. Another family member of a similar age in Edinburgh has been trying to get through to the helpline having not received a letter yet. On one occasion she was 500th in the queue.

How much longer do we have to tolerate this waste of professional time and potential vaccine wastage in Scotland when in other parts of the UK appointments can be booked online and vaccine uptake is much higher?

Gill Craig, Glasgow.


YOUR headline story about roughly half of vaccine appointments being missed at The Hydro in Glasgow may well be linked to the NHS database being out of date in some cases.

I'm aware of two examples where vaccine letters were sent to people who had been absent from the addresses in question for many years. One of them arrived at my own address recently for a previous occupant, a student who left Glasgow in 2014 to return home to China. I returned it to the sender.

The second case is even more extreme. I have a friend in Leipzig who used to live in East Kilbride. He has been living in Germany for more than 20 years and, since Brexit, is now a German citizen. A letter with a vaccine appointment arrived at his former East Kilbride address recently and was forwarded to him by his sister, who still lives at the property. He attempted to cancel the appointment online but discovered to his consternation that this was not possible. The system would only allow him to reschedule it. He eventually gave up.

While I have nothing but praise for the NHS in the attempts to have people vaccinated as quickly as possible, the evidence suggests that they have no administrative mechanism for updating their records if people do not contact them with this information. Electoral registration officers actively check current residency on a semi-regular basis. Why can the NHS not do the same?

Dave Stewart, Glasgow.

* I HAVE been unsuccessful in cancelling a Covid-19 vaccination appointment for my son, who has not resided in the UK for seven years. There appears to be no facility online to cancel, only to reschedule, and after learning I was 365th in the queue on the vaccination helpline, unsurprisingly I gave up trying. My son’s name will now be classed as a "no show". This simply goes to show the inaccuracy of statistics.

S MacKay, Glasgow.


SOUTH of the Border many media reports have highlighted the surge in coronavirus hospitalisations in Bolton where most of the patients have been identified as not having had the Covid jag or only one dose of the vaccine. Yet in Glasgow thousands of people failed to turn up for Covid jag appointments at the SSE Hydro at the weekend, wasting resources and putting themselves and others at continuing risk of catching the disease.

Some of the absentees from the jab appointments may have ethical or religious issues to overcome before getting the vaccine, but the huge numbers not turning up would seem to suggest that it went far beyond that, with complacency and hesitancy creeping in. There is less chance of the city being downgraded from Level 3 if the population is complacent about Covid, dissuading tourists from visiting the city and impacting on struggling businesses. Hopefully Glasgow will take heed of the Bolton crisis and avoid potential catastrophe before it's too late.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen.


YOU report on the disappointing number of people not turning up to the SEC Glasgow for vaccination this last weekend.

No-one else seems to realise that not everyone has a motor car. How do people get to the SEC from the south side of Glasgow, in fact from almost anywhere in Glasgow? There are no bus services that serve the SEC. There is a railway station quite close, but not everyone lives near a railway station and people on the south side, even if they have access to the trains, would have to change at Central.

Are children and other dependants welcome at vaccination centres? Would a single parent be able to attend? Many people now work at weekends and would not be able to change work patterns at short notice. We have moved past vaccinating the "old and stale" who enjoyed their trip out to the SEC (and other centres) and the system needs to cater for people with significant other responsibilities and concerns.

Tricia Fort, Glasgow.


IT is indeed disgraceful that the government of Belarus has taken upon itself the right to hijack a foreign aircraft in order to arrest one of its passengers ("British planes ordered to cease flying over Belarus after journalist’s arrest", The Herald, May 25). I’m sure all our thoughts are with the young activist and his girlfriend, as well as the many other individuals currently incarcerated for trying to counter this contemptible regime.

The West’s moral outrage on the matter is seriously undermined, however, by its complicity in the equally shameful abductions of foreign nationals by the United States, often from third countries, and the covert transport of these people to secret locations for interrogation and illegal detention.

While in no way legitimising the Belarusian actions, American insistence on extensive extraterritorial jurisdiction and complete immunity from independent oversight over its many breaches of international law provides dictatorial governments such as Alexander Lukashenko’s with the opportunity to claim precedents have been set.

Indignation expressed by the US, UK and others rings hollow against the background of history. Might has been demonstrated time and again to be right, as long as it’s on “our” side.

Cameron Crawford, Rothesay.


THE Hamas charter commits to the annihilation of Israel; no compromise. That is the obstacle to peace. Hamas has two weapons: rockets and disregard for the safety of its own in employing the deliberate emplacement of rocket launchers in residential districts, hoping to deter Israeli preventive retaliation or otherwise gaining the trump card, namely a greater number of Gazan fatalities and consequently the sympathy of the world for the “disproportionality”. Had it not been for Iron Dome Israel would likely have suffered 10,000 deaths.

Should Israel apologise for not having sustained more fatalities?

M Green, Glasgow.


THE Green Party is urging Scots to "actively resist" the Home Office after tough immigration measures were announced ("Greens call on Scots to ‘resist’ Home Office over immigration", The Herald, May 26). How totally irresponsible to encourage people to break the law. The law of the UK – and I might inform the Greens in case they had forgotten that we are still part of the UK – needs to be upheld or we will end up with anarchy.

Catherine Taylor, Wishaw.


SPEAKING as the son of a Gordon Highlander captured at Saint Valery en Caux, I welcome the news that efforts are being made to make sure that the 51st's resistance in 1940 will be remembered in future ("Making sure the bravery of St Valery men will not be forgotten", The Herald, May 25). However, I would make two points.

First, the appropriate time for the authorities to have initiated this idea would have been when those of the 51st who were at the scene were alive. Many, like my father, died believing that their stand had been virtually ignored amidst the regular Dunkirk remembrances.

Secondly, while I am hopefully wrong in this concern, I harbour doubts that the underlying reason for the belated recognition of the event is at least in part an effort to promote the Union in the face of the current increase in the cause of Scottish independence.

Please do remember those who were there and others who fought against Nazi tyranny, but do it for the right reasons.

Archie Hamilton, Glasgow.

Read more: Half of Glasgow Hydro vaccine appointments were 'no shows' over weekend