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Coronavirus / Vaccination programme through GP practices about to commence

More than 400 local key workers have so far received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: Local News Partnership

PEOPLE aged over 80 and living at home will receive letters from their GP practices over coming days inviting them to visit the surgery to receive their Covid-19 vaccine.

NHS Shetland said the process would be the same as that used for the flu vaccine programme.

The health board in Shetland will not operate a centralised booking system, as is being done in Orkney, but it will be decentralised through GP practices.

There has been some criticism locally at the speed of the vaccine rollout.

The health board said that so far 435 people – NHS and social care staff as well as care home residents – have been vaccinated with the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The first small batch of the Oxford-Astra Zeneca vaccine is due to arrive in the isles today (Wednesday).

Dependent on vaccine supply, NHS Shetland hopes to have over 2,000 people vaccinated by the end of January.

NHS Shetland said delaying administering the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by up to 12 weeks would allow the health board to get more people vaccinated.

Chief executive Michael Dickson said the race against the virus could only be won by “everyone in Shetland sticking to the FACTS and taking a vaccine when offered”.

He added: “We don’t intend to take any longer than necessary but the logistics of the rollout are significant and we share everyone’s desire to get back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible.”