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Community Coronavirus Health Public Health

Vaccine Programme Exceeds Expectations

786,427 people have received first dose.

A total of 786,427 people have now received their first Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination in Scotland, including 93% of over-80s living in the community.

Some 99% of older adult care home residents have received a first dose, along with 89% of staff in older adult care homes. A total of 272,365 frontline health and social care workers have also been vaccinated, exceeding the initial target of 230,000 staff provided by health boards.

This week, following the opening of new mass vaccination centres, including the Edinburgh International Conference Centre and Aberdeen’s P&J LIVE at TECA, there has been a 49% increase in the number of vaccinations carried out compared with the previous week.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“Scotland’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is now delivering ahead of our expectations, thanks to the enormous efforts of our vaccination teams. I would like to thank everyone who is working tirelessly to make this a success, and also every individual who has taken up their offer of a vaccine.

“Our aim is to vaccinate as many people as possible with both their first and second doses. The vaccine deployment plan was predicated on an uptake of at least 80% in each cohort – though so far we are significantly exceeding that for care home residents and staff, frontline healthcare staff, and over 80-year-olds in the community. If you are aged over 80 but have not yet received your invite, you should contact your GP surgery so they can assist.

“We hope to see a significant drop in the disease due to the vaccination programme, however this will take a number of months to evaluate fully. In the shorter term, we are monitoring the uptake rate but we also have a comprehensive surveillance system in place to monitor outcome of vaccine efficacy and disease reduction.

“Each health board is working hard to get the vaccine into people’s arms as quickly as possible, and everyone eligible will be offered the vaccine as we work our way through the priority groups.”

Background:

Uptake rates for the COVID-19 vaccine so far are higher than the flu vaccine programme in 2019-20 and 2020-21, which was 79% for those aged over 65 in 2020.

Our deployment plan sets out our plan for how we will roll out vaccinations in Scotland to vaccinate 4.5 million people.

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Coronavirus Health Public Health

First Vaccinations in Care Homes

90 year old former carer receives her initial dose.

The first vaccinations in care homes in Scotland have taken place.

90 year old Annie Innes was the first care home resident in the country to receive the vaccine. Annie worked as a carer for over 14 years and has been living at the the Abercorn House Care home in Hamilton for six months.

Staff from NHS Lanarkshire administered vaccines to 52 residents as the roll-out of the vaccination programme continued. Second to receive her first dose at the care home was former bar tender 82 year old Margaret Keating who has been a resident at Abercorn House for just over a year.

Those issuing the vaccines became the first to get their initial doses on Tuesday 8 December.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“I want to thank all those involved in the roll-out of the vaccination programme. It has been a challenge to get the Pfizer vaccine into care homes because of transport and storage requirements but I am delighted to see Mrs Innes become the first care home resident to receive her vaccine and I wish her many more years of good health.

“Throughout the pandemic our priority has been to save lives and keep people safe. Vaccines give us a vital additional layer of protection we haven’t had until now.

“As more vaccines become available over the coming months we will be able to continue to extend the roll-out, but initially we are focussing on residents in care homes for older adults and their carers, as we know that older adults in care homes are at the highest risk of severe disease and death from COVID.”

“Those receiving their vaccines this week will get their second doses early in the New Year. Following advice from the MHRA we are keeping 50 per cent of the stock we have back to allow this to happen,

“Of course, we won’t rely solely on the vaccine to protect our care home residents and that’s why we are also significantly accelerating the delivery of testing kits to all care homes for designated visitors.

“But vital and welcome as the vaccine is, it really matters that all of us continue to follow all the guidance and rules including FACTS. Washing our hands regularly, wearing face coverings and keeping two metres distance from others really does make a difference in keeping us and our loved ones safe and keeping pressure off the NHS so it can care for COVID patients and others who need it’s help. We’ve a few more months to go before the vaccine work has been rolled out fully so meantime, we all need to stick together as we have done so we can get through to the lives we all want to live.”

Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire nurse director Trudi Marshall, who is managing the care home vaccination programme across the whole of Lanarkshire, said:

“This programme represents the biggest logistical challenges Lanarkshire, and the country, has ever faced.

“We’ve very rapidly scaled up our vaccinator nursing workforce and carried out detailed planning, which will enable us to vaccinate 2,990 care home residents and 5,601 staff across 93 care homes. In addition, the safe transport and storage of the vaccines has also been a very complex area of work and our staff have been excellent in meeting these challenges so diligently.

“It’s important to recognise just how much work our staff have put in to the process in such a short time. Care home staff and managers also deserve praise for their fantastic co-operation and help.

“Every day we see just how hard care home staff are working to keep residents safe. In addition, they are also liaising with our Care Home Liaison team every step of the way in planning for the roll-out of the vaccines.

“We have a detailed vaccination plan in place which we are communicating to care homes. While this is a very quick moving and complex operation, we’re dedicated to ensuring they are prepared for our visits and resident and staff have consented to receiving the vaccination.

“I’d urge all eligible care home residents and staff to take-up the vaccine to protect themselves and others. I fully understand we’re all eager to get vaccinated, however I’d call for people across Lanarkshire to please be patient as we work through priority groups.”

Resident Annie Innes said:

“It’s wonderful to get the vaccine before Christmas.

“I hope it keeps me, my friends here and the staff safe and means we can get back to normal very soon.

“The nurses and the care home staff have been great with us and we are relieved to have been offered the vaccine.”

Background

Remember FACTS for a safer Scotland:

F – Face coverings

A – Avoid crowded places

C – Clean your hands regularly

T – Two metre distance

S – Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms

Categories
Coronavirus Health Public Health

COVID-19 Vaccination Programme To Start Next Week

Deliveries of the first coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to Scotland are expected to be made early next week with injections being given from Tuesday 8 December.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has confirmed that the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has been authorised for use in the UK.

The vaccine, which must be stored at well below freezing, will be transported to 23 locations around the country in temperature controlled lorries.

Everyone being vaccinated will need two vaccines, between 21 and 28 days apart.

Those giving the vaccination to others will receive the injection first. The programme will then follow the independent advice received from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which recommends prioritising those with the greatest clinical need – including those aged over 80, and health and social care workers. The storage requirements mean logistics around delivery to care homes are more challenging and they are currently under consideration.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“Today’s announcement confirming that a safe and effective vaccine can now be used is the best news than any of us have heard about the virus since the pandemic began.

“As long as we receive the first doses of vaccine when we expect to, we will begin vaccinating from Tuesday next week.

“It is of course worth remembering that everyone will require two vaccines, with the second vaccine between 21 and 28 days after the first, so even for those who are among the first, there will be very few completed until early next year.

“We intend to vaccinate the vaccinators first, followed by the priority groups recommended by the JCVI, however we also need to take account of the conditions attached to the authorisation to supply the vaccine which will present challenges around transporting the vaccine to care homes and individual homes.

“We are therefore in the process of working through how we can ensure people in priority groups in those settings can be vaccinated.

“For all the difficulties that lie ahead, it should give us all real hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight.”