More GP practices begin coronavirus vaccinations

Pentland Medical Centre is among the first practices to start vaccinating over-80s with the jab.

More doctors’ surgeries have started providing coronavirus vaccinations.

Pentland Medical Centre in Edinburgh was among the first practices to start vaccinating the over-80s with the Oxford University and AstraZeneca jab with a wider roll-out starting from Monday.

Practice manager Pauline Hutton said it had just under 14,000 patients and had received 100 doses.

She said: To all of us within the practice, this feels like Christmas. There is a real sense of anticipation, excitement and hope.

“We are delighted to begin vaccinating our patients and look forward to welcoming all those who are eligible at this stage over the coming weeks.

The first doses of the Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine were administered in Scotland on Monday.

James Shaw, 82, from Dundee, was among the first to get the jab.

He was vaccinated at the Lochee Health and Community Care Centre in the city alongside his wife Malita, also 82.

The UK has secured access to 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, enough for most of the population.

Scotland will get a proportionate 8.2% of the jabs.

The Scottish Government said its priority is to vaccinate as many people with their first dose as quickly as possible, with the second dose to be given within 12 weeks.

The order in which people will receive the vaccine is determined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

It will be given first to care home residents and their carers, people over the age of 80 and frontline health and social care workers.

National Clinical Director Jason Leitch told STV News: “The Joint Committee on Vaccinations, which has the best brains in the country – not government scientists, independent scientists – immunologists, public health experts, people who understand vaccines way better than me, they have looked at the data and they have assessed that the first dose gives you somewhere between 70 and 90 percent protection.

“And with the numbers that we have, both of disease and of vaccine supply, they’ve decided the simplest and best thing to do to save lives is to get that first injection into as many people as we can.

“The second injection does give you a little bit more protection, a few percentage points of protection and elongates your protection.

“But 12 weeks is when they say we should do that. In 30 years, we have never departed from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations advice and that’s why we took this advice this time.”

At the Scottish government’s coronavirus briefing on Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon said the country’s vaccination programme is “well over” halfway through vaccinating the population of care homes.

Sturgeon announced this is “extremely important” as figures showed more than a third of the people who died from Covid last week were in homes.

She said Public Health Scotland intends to provide a “detailed” breakdown of vaccinations by group and region as of next week.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a news briefing on Thursday that almost 1.5m people have now been vaccinated against Covid-19 across the UK.

He said: “We’ve now vaccinated 1.26m people in England, 113,000 in Scotland, 49,000 in Wales and 46,000 in Northern Ireland.

“So, all together, nearly 1.5 million people across the UK have now received their first dose and within two to three weeks all of them will have a very considerable degree of immunity.”

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