Scotland Could Start Covid Vaccinations as Early as Next Week

Scotland Could Start Covid Vaccinations as Early as Next Week- Subject to Approval.

Scotland will start vaccination as soon as supplies are delivered after it emerged the UK is expected to become the first country to approve a covid vaccine as early as next week. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the NHS in Scotland is ready to start distributing the first vaccine, which was developed jointly by Pfizer and BioNTech, as soon as approval is granted.

UK approval of the first vaccine by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is due on Monday, December 7, with the jabs being delivered immediately. Speaking at the daily Scottish Government coronavirus briefing Freeman said: “We’re ready to go as soon as these approvals come through.”

The UK has ordered 40m doses, which are to be distributed across the devolved nations according to population size. Pfizer/BioNTech has said it can make 50m doses this year, but first supplies will be short because Europe has pre-ordered 200m doses and the US 100m. If Scotland gets 320,000 doses, it is likely that England will have 2.7m in December – enough to vaccinate half that number of people with the necessary two doses.

Everyone in Scotland over the age of 18 will be offered the vaccine, that’s a total of 4.4m people. The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has drawn up advice on how people should be prioritised. It has said that the priorities for the first wave of vaccine distribution, from December to February, are:

  • frontline health and social care staff
  • older residents in care homes
  • care home staff
  • all those aged 80 and over
  • unpaid carers and personal assistants
  • those delivering the vaccination programme.

Those who meet the above criteria will be contacted in December and January by post or, if they work in health and social care, by their employer.


 

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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