First vaccines administered in Scottish care homes
The first vaccinations in care homes in Scotland have taken place.
Staff from NHS Lanarkshire administered vaccines to 52 residents as the roll-out of the vaccination programme continued.
Ninety-year-old Annie Innes, who worked as a carer for more than 14 years, was the first care home resident in the country to receive the vaccine at Abercorn House care home in Hamilton.
She said: “It’s wonderful to get the vaccine before Christmas.
“I hope it keeps me, my friends here and the staff safe and means we can get back to normal very soon.
“The nurses and the care home staff have been great with us and we are relieved to have been offered the vaccine.”
Those issuing the vaccines became the first to get their initial doses last Tuesday.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said it had been a challenge getting the Pfizer vaccine into care homes because of transport and storage requirements.
She added: “As more vaccines become available over the coming months we will be able to continue to extend the roll-out, but initially we are focussing on residents in care homes for older adults and their carers, as we know that older adults in care homes are at the highest risk of severe disease and death from COVID.
“Those receiving their vaccines this week will get their second doses early in the New Year. Following advice from the MHRA we are keeping 50 per cent of the stock we have back to allow this to happen.
“Of course, we won’t rely solely on the vaccine to protect our care home residents and that’s why we are also significantly accelerating the delivery of testing kits to all care homes for designated visitors.”
Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire nurse director Trudi Marshall, who is managing the care home vaccination programme across the whole of Lanarkshire, said: “This programme represents the biggest logistical challenges Lanarkshire, and the country, has ever faced.
“We’ve very rapidly scaled up our vaccinator nursing workforce and carried out detailed planning, which will enable us to vaccinate 2,990 care home residents and 5,601 staff across 93 care homes.
“In addition, the safe transport and storage of the vaccines has also been a very complex area of work and our staff have been excellent in meeting these challenges so diligently.
“It’s important to recognise just how much work our staff have put in to the process in such a short time. Care home staff and managers also deserve praise for their fantastic co-operation and help.
“Every day we see just how hard care home staff are working to keep residents safe.”