Sturgeon meets hospital staff coordinating vaccine rollout

The First Minister toured Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, one of 23 centres where priority groups will be vaccinated.

Play icon Getty Images

Nicola Sturgeon has met staff coordinating the roll out of the coronavirus vaccine at a hospital in Edinburgh. 

Western General Hospital is one of 23 centres where priority groups will be vaccinated against coronavirus. 

The First Minister had a tour of the facility and learned about the detailed preparation which has gone into organising the delivery of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

People administering the vaccine to others will be first to be immunised, then those with the greatest clinical need will follow, such as health and social care workers and people over 80.

The First Minister said: “I’m grateful to everyone involved in giving this vaccine to those who need it most.

“By vaccinating the priority groups they will be covering those associated with 99% of preventable COVID-19 deaths. That is a very compelling reason to put these groups first in the queue for this vaccine.

“Finally there is light at the end of the tunnel. But I ask everyone to be patient as we work our way through this vaccination programme, and continue to follow FACTS to keep us all safe.”

Calum Campbell, chief executive of NHS Lothian, said: “As we prepare to launch our staff vaccination clinics, we reach a crucial milestone in the fight against Covid-19. Across NHS Lothian, a huge amount of planning has and will continue to take place to ensure that we can deliver the vaccine quickly, efficiently and effectively.

“I am delighted that the first Covid vaccinations in NHS Lothian will be given tomorrow and would like to thank all our staff for their dedication in making this happen.”

The vaccine, which must be stored at well below freezing, has been transported to 23 locations around Scotland in temperature controlled lorries.

People will be required to have two doses, at least 21 days apart. Scotland has an initial delivery of more than 65,500 doses, with more to follow.

Storage requirements mean logistics have had to be worked out carefully, planning is underway for the vaccine to be taken to care home residents from December 14.