Update on Forth Valley Covid-19 Vaccination Programme

More than 30,000 thousand people across Forth Valley have received the Covid-19 vaccine since the vaccination programme began in early December 2020.

This includes residents in all 65 care homes across Forth Valley, local health and care staff and those aged over 80. The programme for these first priority groups is on track and due to be completed by 5th February 2021, in line with national targets.

The next phase of the programme will see Covid-19 vaccinations being delivered to people aged 70 to 79 and those classed as extremely clinically vulnerable (people who were asked to shield) during the first few weeks of February 2021. Work is also underway to accelerate the roll out of the vaccine to people aged over 65 and individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with certain underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality, subject to vaccine supplies.

Covid-19 vaccinations will continue to be delivered at a number of community venues and GP practices across Forth Valley, including a number of new larger college campus venues which can vaccinate up to 1200 people a day. This follows a wide assessment of a range of potential venues which were considered for their suitability for a number of important factors including access, space for physical distancing, WiFi/internet connectivity and transport. Housebound patients will continue to be offered vaccination in their own homes.

NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Public Health, Dr Graham Foster, said: “Across Scotland, Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods and Forth Valley is no exception. Vaccination is a vital step forward in the fight against this ongoing pandemic and, whilst the next phase of the roll out is of course welcome, it’s important to remember that it takes 2 – 3 weeks for the vaccine to provide protection and you must continue to follow the national guidance as it is not known whether being vaccinated stops you spreading the virus to others.

“We also know the new strain of the virus is spread far more easily so it’s important to remain extra vigilant and take extra care to keep a safe distance from others, wash your hands regularly and wear a face mask.

“Our local hospitals are fuller than ever before with patients who have Covid-19 and if we are to get control of this awful virus we need everyone to do all they can to limit transmission whilst we continue to roll out the vaccination programme.”

NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Pharmacy, Scott Mitchell, said: “Our local immunisation team has been working closely with local GP practice, council and Health and Social Care Partnership colleagues over the last few months to deliver the vaccine to our most vulnerable care home and older residents as well as frontline health and care workers.

“Uptake has been very high and we hope to see this continue as we move into the next phase of the programme to deliver the vaccine to people aged 65 and over and those who were asked to shield over the coming weeks.

“We know that many more people are eager to get vaccinated and we would like to thank everyone for their patience as we work our way through the priority groups and ask that people do not contact their GP practice with enquiries about when they will receive the vaccine as practice staff are currently very busy working with Health Board to make arrangements for their patients to be vaccinated either at the practice or a local community venue.”

People in the next priority groups will be contacted direct over the next few weeks so there is no need to contact your GP. If anyone has any difficulties in attending their scheduled Covid-19 vaccination appointment or need to change it then they can email or phone the Covid-19 vaccination helpline using the contact information in the letter.

The latest information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme is available on the NHS Inform website.