19,000 Scots vaccinated in first six days

“A tremendous and momentous turning point” – Scotland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer hails the progress made after covid-19 vaccinations started last week.

By the end of Sunday 13th December, 18,644 people in Scotland had received their first dose of the only vaccine so far sanctioned for use in the UK.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said this was a “very good start” to the “biggest logistical exercise in the history of vaccination”.

Ms Freeman said: “My thanks go to those who have had the vaccine, given the vaccine and those involved in the planning and delivery of this remarkable effort.”

The news comes as Scotland’s death toll from the virus passed 6,000 – described by the First Minister as a “very distressing milestone”.

The first vaccinations with the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine started in Scotland on the 8th December.

90-year-old Annie Innes was the first care home resident to receive the vaccine on Monday.

It has now been 12 months since the first case of covid-19 was reported to the World Health Organization and there have been 1.6 million deaths from the virus worldwide.

Providing an update on the vaccination programme during the Scottish government’s daily briefing Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nicola Steedman said: “This is an absolutely tremendous, momentous turning point in a pandemic which has stripped so many of us so much of the joys of life.

“…We know it isn’t all plain sailing from here on. As we have explained before, and as you are probably aware, this particular vaccine brings with it some particular logistical challenges in terms of how we store and transport it, but even despite all of that we started delivering crucial vaccinations to our frontline health and social care workers last week and to those working and living in care homes this week.

“We have started as we should, clinically with those most at risk from covid, and as we continue to protect those most vulnerable in our society first and foremost, we will work through society with the vaccination in order of clinical need, as fast as we can and as more vaccines become available.”

Weekly reporting on vaccinations numbers will be available from Public Health Scotland next week.