LONG waits for residents to be vaccinated on the opening day of Queen Margaret University’s drive-through mass vaccination centre have been attributed to weather conditions and “teething problems”.

Heavy snow brought by Storm Darcy meant there were issues when the centre – which is capable of vaccinating more than 5,000 people every week at 12 stations – first opened last Wednesday morning.

NHS Lothian apologised for any inconvenience but praised staff for their efforts in the challenging conditions.

Former councillor John McNeil, who represented Musselburgh for nearly 20 years on East Lothian Council, was among those at the university in Musselburgh last Wednesday morning for vaccination.

His appointment was due to take place at 8.50am, with Mr McNeil arriving 20 minutes early.

However, it was not until two hours later that he was seen, with Mr McNeil told that computer glitches and staff shortages were to blame.

But he stressed: “All the staff were absolutely brilliant.

“It was just the powers that be who should have done something so we were not waiting two hours and 25 minutes for an injection.”

Mr McNeil, who turns 70 next month, stepped down as a councillor ahead of the 2017 elections.

The Musselburgh resident was pleased to say he had heard the situation at the university had improved. He said: “I am led to believe it is a lot better now.

“There were lots of people and we all had to sit and wait our turn but we were in the dark until I asked somebody what the score was.”

Pat Wynne, director of primary and community nursing, NHS Lothian, said they could not have predicted the extreme weather. He said: “We are pleased to have opened Lothian’s only drive-through vaccination centre at Queen Margaret University.

“A significant amount of planning went into the creation of the centre, but we could not have foreseen the extreme weather conditions that coincided with its opening day.

“We are really grateful to all of our staff for battling the elements to get to work and helping to deliver the vaccine as swiftly as possible.

“We apologise to patients who were affected by delays caused by a combination of the conditions and teething problems.”