Midlothian GPs receive coronavirus vaccines to give to patients
GP practices across Midlothian will receive deliveries of the Covid-19 vaccine from today (Monday) as they start offering it to over-80s across the county.
Up to December 31, NHS Lothian said that 1,344 people had received vaccination jabs from staff centres for health and care workers in Midlothian.
It added that many more workers would have received the jab from other centres outwith the county, for example in Edinburgh if they were working there.
In total, 216 care home residents and staff not already vaccinated at staff clinics also received the jab in December.
From Monday, the rollout will focus on over-80s as it starts offering vaccinations to residents.
However, David Small, Covid vaccination project lead, NHS Lothian, has urged people to be patient as the massive programme to inoculate priority groups gets under way.
He said: “Since December 8, when the first Covid vaccination became available, we have delivered over 20,000 vaccinations across Lothian.
“This is a fantastic achievement and is thanks to the hard work and dedication of many people. We are not, however, resting, and work has continued at pace to ensure that we can continue this momentum.
“From Monday, GP surgeries in Midlothian will start to receive vaccine deliveries in order to vaccinate those aged over 80.
“GP surgeries will contact these patients directly to arrange appointments.”
Initially, the Pfizer vaccine was being used in Midlothian; however, the approval of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine means both will be used in the county.
NHS Lothian said that people would be given an information leaflet explaining which one they had received at their appointments.
It added that there were no plans to ‘mix and match’ the products, so anyone who received a first dose with Pfizer will receive their second booster jab with it as well.
The Scottish Government is following the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) UK Government body advice on priority groups to receive the vaccine first.
The advice prioritises:
1. Residents in care homes for older adults and their carers;
2. Over-80s and frontline health and social care workers;
4. Over-70s and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals;
6. All individuals aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality;
The committee says the nine priority groups represent about 99 per cent of preventable deaths from Covid-19.
Plans are under way to offer mass vaccination to those in the priority 3-7 groups from next month, with the Scottish Government aiming to have all those over 50 vaccinated by May.
Mr Small said: “The Covid vaccination is key in helping us return to normal life and we recognise the level of anticipation that is currently being felt by all.
“I would like to reassure the public that we are working tirelessly to make sure that we can deliver the vaccine to each of the relevant groups when they are due to receive it.
“This will not happen overnight, which is why we urge the public to please be patient with this process.
“However, the message is clear: you will receive your vaccination, but this has to be done in a systematic way, ensuring that those who are most vulnerable are prioritised.”