Oxford vaccine widely available in Scotland from Monday

Scotland has an allocation of 533,640 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for the month of January.

The newly approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will be available in more than 1000 locations in Scotland from Monday, the Scottish Government has said.

The jab, which has already been administered in the Tayside, Lothian, Orkney and Highlands health boards, was approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on December 30.

News of the rollout comes just days after Nicola Sturgeon announced more than 110,000 people had received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine since it was approved in early December.

Scotland has an allocation of 533,640 doses of the Oxford vaccine for the month of January, which requires two jabs, similar to its counterpart.

Those aged 80 or older will be contacted by their health board to receive the vaccination.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “The delivery of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is a major development for the biggest vaccination programme we have ever delivered.

“I would like to thank everyone involved for their continued efforts to ensure the pace of the programme continues. Next week I will update parliament with further logistical detail of the vaccination programme.”

The Health Secretary said eligible Scots should wait to be contacted by authorities to receive the vaccine, and she urged those invited to attend.

“We have over 1,100 vaccination sites, including over 750 GP practices with a growing core of over 3,000 trained vaccinators to deliver the vaccine,” she said.

“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.

“Please do not contact your GP but wait for your letter or phone call. And please remember that when the time comes for your second dose, it is crucial you get it as this is vital for longer-term protection and to complete the course.

“As ever, we are dependent on the vaccine supply and we continue to explore all possible options to speed up the delivery of all vaccines and bring forward timescales where possible.

“This work, alongside our expanded testing strategy, rigorously complying with restrictions where we live and adhering to the public health guidance, is essential to protect those most at risk and minimise further impact on the NHS and social care services.”

The rollout will start as Scotland has seen its highest daily death figures since the start of the pandemic, as well as hospital numbers rising above the April peak.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “Vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel.

“The UK Government has procured and paid for millions of vaccine doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for people in all parts of the UK.

“The Scottish Government and NHS Scotland now need to get that supply of jabs into as many people’s arms as soon as possible.”

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