The priority groups who will be top of the list for the first covid-19 vaccines in Scotland at the start of December, including care home residents and staff and unpaid carers, have been revealed today.
As expected, frontline health and social care staff are also among those on the priority coronavirus vaccine list set out in a statement by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman today in the Scottish Parliament.
It comes days after charity Kindred made a plea for the parents of children with complex needs to be included among the first to receive the vaccination, highlighting many parents were in fear of falling sick being unable to look after their vulnerable children.
Last week, pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced a vaccine it was developing had proved to be 90% effective, while this week Moderna claimed its own vaccine had reached 95% efficacy.
Ms Freeman assured that the speed at which the vaccines had been developed was “impressive, but not at the expense of safety”.
Further information about the vaccines from the pharmaceutical companies is still to be passed on before precise recommendations can be drawn up.
Speaking in Holyrood today, Ms Freeman said: “From December we expect to see the first delivery of vaccines to Scotland.
“We are planning both on the basis the Joint Committee for Vaccines and Immunisations is able to provide governments with a recommendation and that the vaccine receive a licence.
“We are hopeful over the coming weeks and going into 2021 we will have more than one vaccine available to us so we can, with minimum delay vaccinate as many as possible as quickly as possible.”
A number of challenges to the delivery programme – intended to stretch from December to spring 2021 – remain, including adapting any plans to the requirements of each vaccine, such as unique storage and transportation requirements and method of delivery.
The Health Secretary made it clear “those most in need will get the vaccine first”:
“In the first wave of our plan from December to February includes frontline health and social care staff, older residents in care homes, care home staff, all those aged 80 and over, unpaid carers and personal assistants and those who will be delivering the vaccination programme.”
She added: “Current advice is we would then work through those aged over 65 and those under 65 who are at an additional clinical risk, and then we move to the wider population.”
by Sarah Nimmo