First COVID vaccines for Forth Valley health staff start in 24 hours

Frontline health and social care staff, and care home workers will be the first to get Covid-19 vaccinations in Forth Valley.

Monday, 7th December 2020, 1:00 pm
Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

The programme will be rolled-out from Tuesday after the delivery of initial supplies of new Pfzier/BioNTech vaccine at clinics taking place at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.

Separate arrangements are being made to vaccinate care home residents across Forth Valley from December 14.

In order to ensure those most at risk are protected as early as possible, the initial vaccine supply for the first two weeks is being prioritised for frontline health and care staff working in the highest risk areas and those caring for the most vulnerable and critically ill patients, in line with national guidance.

Plans are also being made to vaccinate other priority groups in the first phase including people aged 80 and over who will be invited to clinics at a number of GP practices and other community venues.

Everyone will be given two appointments as two doses of the vaccine are required for it to be fully effective. They will be given between 21 and 28 days apart.

NHS Forth Valley said the distribution and delivery arrangements will be dependent upon the different characteristics and criteria for the individual vaccines which are expected to be approved for use in the coming weeks and months.

Some, such as the initial Pfzier/BioNTech vaccine, has to be stored at extremely low temperatures around -70C, while others will be able to be stored in pharmacy fridges which will enable them to be delivered from a wider range of community venues.

Scott Mitchell, director of pharmacy, is encouraging people to take up the offer of the vaccine as it is rolled out over the next few months.

He said: “Our priority is to protect the most vulnerable as soon as possible and roll out the vaccine to other groups over the coming months to help drive down rates to the lowest level possible as we work towards eliminating the virus completely.”

A new Scottish Covid-19 vaccination helpline will also be launched on Tuesday to answer any queries people maybe have about the programme.

Call 0800 030 8013 from 8.00am to 8.00pm 7 days a week.

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