Dunipace man among those immunised on day Scotland's vaccination programme reaches two million people

A Falkirk district man was among those vaccinated on the day Scotland’s immunisation programme surpassed a significant milestone.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:48 pm

Two million people have now received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine – 44 per cent of the adult population.

The landmark was reached yesterday and 60-year-old Ian Love, of Dunipace, was part of the group whose vaccines pushed the tally towards that figure.

The engineering manager received his first dose at Forth Valley College’s Stirling campus.

Gillian Bruce, co-ordinator with the immunisation team at NHS Forth Valley, gives a vaccine to Ian Love from Dunipace at Forth Valley College's Stirling campus as the Scottish Government announces it has vaccinated over two million people. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

Mr Love said: “I am so pleased to have had my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is such a relief and it really is starting to feel like we can start to think about a return to normal life.

“I want to thank everyone at NHS Forth Valley – the whole procedure has been simple and the local staff were very reassuring and clearly explained the process. I look forward to getting my second dose in around 12 weeks’ time.”

The national vaccination programme continues to move through groups six and seven on the priority list, which includes those with particular underlying health conditions and unpaid carers.

A self-referral online service has been launched to enable any eligible unpaid carers who have not received an invitation to register themselves.

As groups six and seven progress, the NHS has begun scheduling appointments for the next priority groups, which are group eight (age 55-59 years) and nine (age 50-54 years).

Vaccinations for these groups began at the start of this week.

Heath Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “More than two million people in Scotland have now received their first dose of the vaccine.

“That this has been achieved in little more than three months is down 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.

“Scotland’s Covid-19 vaccination programme is now in the final stages of vaccinating the first nine priority groups. When you are offered the vaccine please take up the invitation.

“The vaccination programme is one of three key ways we are working to beat this virus, along with our expanded testing programme to identify cases and break chains of transmission and the important lockdown restrictions everyone in Scotland must follow. All these measures work to greatest effect when they work together.”

Dr Miles Mack, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland chairman, said: “It is remarkable that a year after the first Covid-19 mortality in Scotland, effective vaccines have been developed, and are now being rapidly rolled out across the country.

“It is a testament to the hard-working healthcare staff, military personnel and volunteers that we mark the milestone of two million first dose vaccinations, since the vaccine roll-out programme began in December.

“We know that the vaccines are safe and effective. They are a vital tool in reducing the number of Covid-19 cases and in ensuring that people are protected against this deadly disease.

“But there is more work to be done. Much of the adult population is yet to receive their first vaccine dose, and I would encourage people to take up the offer of a vaccine when they are called.”

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