Covid vaccinations start for over 80s in Forth Valley

Covid-19 vaccinations for the 80-plus age group are set to begin in Forth Valley on Monday 11th January 2021.

The vaccines, which will be delivered from a number of local GP practices and community venues, builds on the programme already underway to vaccinate frontline health, social care workers, care home staff and residents.

With mainland Scotland now in lockdown, Dr Graham Foster, NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Public Health, is reminding people that getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an essential reason to leave the home.

He said: “Approval of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is great news as it is logistically easier to administer in local settings, meaning that we can roll it out to more people starting with those aged 80 and over. However, we’d urge patience as we work through priority groups in line with the national guidance and supplies available. Everyone will be invited forward for their vaccine in due course and there is no need for anyone to contact their GP Practice as they will be contacted direct as soon as appointments are available.”

NHS Forth Valley’s immunisation teams have already vaccinated more than 10,000 people with the Pfizer vaccine which has been delivered to health and social care staff as well as care home staff and residents in all 65 care homes across Forth Valley.

Most people in the community are likely to receive the Oxford AstraZenica vaccine which can be stored in a regular medical fridge and is more easily transportable. As with the flu vaccination programme, many people will be vaccinated at their local GP practice while others will be immunised in a ‘community hub’ and will receive a letter giving them an appointment along with details of where to attend. A range of initial venues have been booked including Falkirk Town Hall, Dobbie Hall in Larbert, Bo’ness and Grangemouth Town Halls, Stirling Albert Halls, Ladywell Church in Bannockburn, Victoria Hall in Dunblane and Alloa Town Hall. Each person will be given a scheduled appointment to help avoid overcrowding.

More than 20 local GP practices in Forth Valley, including a number in more rural areas, have also opted to deliver Covid-19 immunisations for local patients either within their Practice or in another local facility with more space.

The vaccine requires two doses to offer the best possible protection. Second dose appointments will be scheduled for up to twelve weeks after the first dose is administered, in line with updated recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Pharmacy, Scott Mitchell, said: “If anyone has any difficulties in attending their scheduled Covid-19 vaccination appointment or need to change it then they can email or phone our local vaccination helpline using the contact information in the letter.

“We would also remind people that cases of Covid-19 are still increasing rapidly due to the new variant, so even if you have received the vaccine you still need to wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently and keep a safe distance from others as the vaccine doesn’t offer immediate protection.”

Once those aged 80 and over have vaccinated the following priority groups will be offered the vaccine in the first phase, in line with the JCVI guidance.

  • all those 75 years of age and over
  • all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  • all those 65 years of age and over
  • all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  • all those 60 years of age and over
  • all those 55 years of age and over
  • all those 50 years of age and over

It is estimated that taken together, these groups represent around 99% of preventable mortality from Covid-19.

Further information