First Scottish care home vaccinations due to begin

Care home residents in Scotland are due to receive the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for the first time on Monday.

Vaccinations are continuing this week
Vaccinations are continuing this week

Residents in some care homes are expected to receive their first jab on Monday morning.

It comes after more than 5,000 NHS staff and vaccinators received the vaccine, with the rollout starting on December 8.

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At the weekend, the Scottish Government announced a solution had been agreed which allowed the Pfizer vaccine to be transported from storage hubs to care homes.

The vaccine must initially be stored at minus 70C before being thawed out.

It can now be “packed down” into smaller batches which can be taken to care homes with “minimal wastage”, as supplies allow.

Ahead of the rollout into care homes, Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith praised the team behind the vaccination programme as “phenomenal”, including chief pharmaceutical officer Alison Strath.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said earlier: “This is another important moment in our journey through the coronavirus pandemic and I am delighted that we have received the authorisation we need to enable us to vaccinate the most vulnerable people in our care homes.

“Officials in the government and our health boards, along with Pfizer, and the MHRA, have worked really hard to allow this to happen and it is another step on the road to our collective recovery and a return to a more normal way of life.”

There are 23 sites around Scotland which will act as vaccination hubs for priority groups.

NHS boards will be required to develop their own vaccination plans in each area of Scotland.