Coronavirus in Scotland RECAP: Jeane Freeman confirms one million Scots to be vaccinated by January

Scotland’s Health Secretary will be addressing Parliament on Thursday afternoon with the latest updates on the coronavirus vaccine.

By Katharine Hay
Thursday, 19th November 2020, 2:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th November 2020, 3:40 pm

Jeane Freeman will be outlining how the vaccine will be rolled out across Scotland.

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This comes after the First Minister announced that there were 1,089 new cases across the country, with 1,212 people in hospital and 85 people in intensive care.

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Tragically, 50 people have died after testing positive for the virus.

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Coronavirus in Scotland RECAP: Jeane Freeman confirms one million Scots to be vaccinated by January

Last updated: Thursday, 19 November, 2020, 15:31

  • One million Scots to be vaccinated by January, health secretary confirms 
  • First wave of those to be tested include frontline staff, health and social care workers and anyone over the age of 80
  • The vaccination campaign will run from December to Spring, and aims to vaccinate everyone over 18.

‘A safe and protective vaccine brings hope, but we must keep following the necessary restrictions.’

Ms Freeman goes on to list the ‘important and necessary measures’ in place in Scotland to ‘keep people safe’ during the coronavirus pandemic. 

‘Please get tested if we ask you to’

‘It’s a form of protection we do not have through any other means,' JF added. 

‘If you are not in the first group, please be patient. I know we all know how important it is to protect those who are most vulnerable during this pandemic.'

The first vaccines will require two doses, three to four weeks apart

It’s possible that further booster doses and even an annual programme may be required, JF said. 

‘For now it’s important that these vaccines offer some sort of protection, even if we don’t know how much that protections is at the moment, and they’re safe,' she added. 

‘It’s important to know we do not know about all the vaccines characteristics just yet,’ JF confirms.

‘We don’t know if the Pfizer vaccine will be able to be transported yet,' she added, and confirmed there are still questions surrounding whether this vaccine will prevent people from contracting the virus, passing it on or prevent Covid-19 from causing serious harm. 

‘With so many vaccines in phase three of trials, there is a chance of multiple vaccines being available over the next 12 months,’ JF says.

‘It’s possible therefore they will have different characteristics on how they’re stored, handled and delivered which requires real logistical expertise, so I am grateful the military has responded once again and stands ready to bolster out planning.' 

Scotland will be able to vaccinate around one million people by January if the rollout goes to plan and the workforce for delivering the vaccine is made available, JF said.

She said the Scottish Government plans to involve in the military in the rollout plan who, in the past, have shown significant support in the country’s efforts to combat the virus. 

Those in the ‘first wave’ of vaccination will be contacted in December or January.

Contact will be made my mail for residents, and for social and care workers, contact about the vaccine will come from the respective employer. 

NHS Boards will lead local delivery

‘Over the coming weeks and months we will be sending information out to people across Scotland explaining what the vaccine is, how we are prioritising who gets the vaccine, what to expect when you are vaccinated, and so on,’ JF says. 

Who is in the second group to be tested?

Ms Freeman confirmed the second group of people to be tested are those over 65 and those who are under 65 who are at additional clinical risk. 

The Scottish Government will then look at testing the wider population once the more vulnerable groups have been vaccinated, she added. 

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