Older people in Tayside were the first in Scotland to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine was rolled out to GP practices across the area.
Nineteen practices across Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross have begun offering vaccination to patients aged over 80 this week with more GPs in Tayside set to join them from next week as more vaccine supplies become available. Tayside is also one of the first areas in the UK to offer COVID-19 vaccination in GP surgeries.
Around 1800 people are expected to be vaccinated in the first seven days of the programme.
The aim is to vaccinate all those aged over 80 in Tayside by the end of January and those who are eligible will be contacted directly by their GP practice when it is time for them to be vaccinated. There is no need to contact your GP.
Associate Director of Public Health Dr Daniel Chandler said, “The efforts of our vaccination teams have been amazing and it is testament to a real whole team approach that sees the first over-80s in the general population have their jabs in Tayside.
“The availability and mobility of the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine gives us the opportunity to start to roll out the biggest vaccine programme that the UK has ever seen across our communities. Over-80s are the first priority group and patients will be contacted directly to attend a vaccination session.
“We know that people are eager to get vaccinated and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we work our way through the priority groups of those who are most at risk from the virus. Please do not contact your GP practice to enquire about when you will receive the vaccine as they are currently very busy making arrangements and booking appointments.
“The community roll-out of vaccination marks an important next phase in our response to COVID-19. It will act to suppress the virus in our communities to protect those who are most vulnerable, but the plea from all of us in the NHS is keep sticking with all the guidance.”
Dundee couple James and Malita Shaw, both aged 82, were among the first in Scotland to receive the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine at Lochee Health Centre in Dundee on Monday.
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.”
85-year-old Thomas McConnachie was also vaccinated at Lochee Health Centre on Monday and hopes that this can help lead to a return to normal life.
Mr McConnachie said, “It’s a worrying and sad time and I feel very fortunate that I was one of the first to receive this vaccination.
“Since the start of the pandemic I have been very careful and followed the guidance on staying apart and wearing a mask but I am aware when I am out that others don’t always.
“My advice to those who are offered this vaccination is to just go for it. We need to do everything we can that helps us and the vaccination is one of these things.”