Scots start receiving Oxford coronavirus vaccine

James Shaw 82, from Dundee received the inoculation at Lochee health centre on Monday.

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Scots have started receiving the Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccination.

James Shaw 82, from Dundee, received the inoculation at Lochee health centre in the city on Monday.

His wife Malita, also 82, followed him and was given the jab by nurse Justine Williams.

James said: “My wife and I are delighted to be receiving this vaccination. I have asthma and bronchitis and I have been desperate to have it so I am really pleased to be one of the first to be getting it.

“I know it takes a little while for the vaccine to work but after today I know that I will feel a bit less worried about going out. I will still be very careful and avoid busy places but knowing I have been vaccinated will really help me.

“All of my friends have said they are going to have the vaccine when it is their turn and I would encourage everyone who is offered this vaccination to take it.”

It follows 82-year-old dialysis patient Brian Pinker, who was the first person in the world to receive the jab on Monday morning at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Churchill Hospital.

The jab, which has been described as a “game-changer”, was given the green light by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) last week.

The UK has ordered 100m doses of the vaccine – enough to vaccinate 50 million people.

Another vaccine, from Pfizer-BioNTech, was first given to patients in December.

Data published in The Lancet medical journal in early December showed the vaccine was 62% effective in preventing Covid-19 among a group of 4440 people given two standard doses of the vaccine when compared with 4455 people given a placebo drug.

Of 1367 people given a half first dose of the vaccine followed by a full second dose, there was 90% protection against Covid-19 when compared with a control group of 1374 people.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Seeing the Astrazeneca vaccine being administered to people in the community aged over 80 is a good way to start the New Year and I’m grateful to everyone in NHS Tayside and boards across the country for their work in preparing for the delivery of this newest vaccine.

“Oxford AstraZeneca has the advantage of being much easier to store and transport, which means it is easier to administer in local settings. We are also expecting to receive it in significantly larger quantities than the Pfizer vaccine.

“When it is your turn to be vaccinated you will be contacted by your local health board and I urge you to please take up the offer.

“While vaccination is one of the most important tools we have as we work our way out of this pandemic, we must all continue our work to suppress the virus in Scotland.

“This means rigorously complying with the restrictions where we live and making sure we continue to wear face coverings, maintain 2m distance from others outside our own household and wash our hands regularly.

“These three strands – following all we need to do to suppress the virus, using our expanded testing programme to identify cases and break chains of transmission and rolling out vaccination as fast as supplies allow – are the three critical actions that will see us move, step by step, to a brighter year ahead.”