A COUPLE has slammed the Scottish Government after their fertility treatment was deferred because of their vaccination status.

Claire McPartlin and her husband Chris, both 39, were set to have their first IVF appointment on January 11 after facing almost two years of delays due to Covid-19.

However, just two days after scheduling the appointment, on Christmas Eve they were told the appointment was deferred until the end of February as Claire has had only one Covid vaccination.

Claire was contacted by staff from the Assisted Conception Service at Glasgow Royal Infirmary to let them know that new legislation from the Scottish Government meant the appointment could not go ahead as she is not fully vaccinated.

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Her second vaccine appointment is currently set for the end of January at the earliest date she can have it.

Claire said: "I was a bit shell-shocked to be honest, they just said ‘this is the new legislation from the Scottish Government, it’s brand new to us, it was just in the last few days, we’ve just been told if you’re not fully vaccinated, we can’t go ahead with the treatment’.

"Ironically, that morning I got my second vaccine appointment so I did say ‘look, I’m sitting looking at the appointment, why can’t I still go ahead in January with the treatment and then get my vaccine whilst that’s happening’, but it was just black and white and if you’re not fully vaccinated, you’re off the list basically."

Chris and Claire, who have been trying to have a baby for years and previously suffered two miscarriages, were originally due to have their first IVF appointment in March 2020 before the pandemic led to the temporary closure of fertility clinics.

They were "angry" and "frustrated" when they were told on December 24 that their treatment was to be deferred yet again after they had been officially back on the waitlist for eight months.  

Claire said: "I’m quite emotional still, I spent the day crying.

"I know it was only a few days from when we got booked in, but when you’ve waited for this long, your mind just goes ‘your futures changing, the opportunity’s there, we could have a baby this year’, to two days later gone again.

"And the clock is ticking, we’re both 40 this year so that puts added pressure onto everything, and I know they’re saying they won’t take that opportunity away with age, they’d always give you that time back, but they’re taking away the time."

The couple, who are from Broomhouse, say the lack of communication from the Scottish Government has been "disgusting" and the news was a "shock to the system" as there had been no talk of the decision being considered.

Chris also says he has been annoyed as the data the decision has been based on is "buried" on the Government’s website and despite hours of searching, he hasn’t been able to find it.

He said: "If you can’t have a baby naturally, they’re making it mandatory for you to go and have a vaccine, which I think is morally wrong in itself and it’s morally wrong to take that option away from people who are wanting to have a kid.

"If you could see stats and see what they’re doing is for the greater good then you could maybe accept it a wee bit, but I can’t find any of that data and I’ve hunted and looked through pages and articles."

Claire added: "If I was having a child naturally, I wouldn’t be in this position, I would still be treated at the hospital for my pregnancy and any illnesses that happened throughout my pregnancy, Covid-related or not.

"I feel like I’ve been singled out because the one thing is I can’t conceive naturally.

"If I was living in England this isn’t a problem, I would be going for my fertility treatment today, everything would be going to plan.

"I think they’re playing with people’s lives and hopes and dreams, and it’s just disgusting."

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A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said: "We continue to follow national guidance with regard to fertility treatment.

"Treatment options will be kept under review to reflect any changes in the national guidance and whether patients have arranged their next, or booster, vaccination appointments.

"Covid-19 vaccines are safe and strongly recommended in pregnancy to reduce the significant risks of Covid-19 to unvaccinated pregnant women and their babies.

"We would urge everyone to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "The Covid-19 vaccines are safe and strongly recommended in pregnancy to reduce the significant risks of Covid-19 to unvaccinated pregnant women and their babies.

"Due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases, and concerned about the impact on unvaccinated women, Ministers have taken a decision to temporarily defer fertility treatment for women who are not fully vaccinated.

"We will continue to review the evidence, as well as the prevailing levels of Covid-19, during January and February to determine when treatment of unvaccinated women can recommence, or whether a further deferral is necessary."