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Coronavirus / Hopes for most over-80s to receive first vaccine dose by end of the week

The Pfizer vaccine. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

THERE are hopes that nearly all over-80s in Shetland wanting a Covid vaccine will receive their first dose by the end of the week.

A spokesperson for NHS Shetland said as of Monday morning 503 people in the over-80s group had received their first dose, which equated to 44 per cent.

But she said the figures are “changing all the time”.

“Clinics are on this week so I understand that just about all who want the vaccine in the 80+ cohort will have had it by the end of week,” the spokesperson added.

Care home residents in Shetland have already received the first dose, while care home staff and patient-facing social and health care workers have also been a priority.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Monday afternoon that a total of 46 per cent of over-80s in Scotland have now had a first dose.

She said the programme was on track to reach all over-70s by mid-February.

UK health secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday that UK-wide 75 per cent of over 80s had been vaccinated with their first dose.

In the coming weeks mass vaccination centres will open in Shetland at Lerwick’s independent living centre and Gilbertson Park, and the Scalloway games hall, as the eligibility widens.

The first minister, meanwhile, suggested the Scottish Government may look to trial “24/7 arrangements” in some areas of the country in a bid to vaccinate people more quickly.

Sturgeon said that as of yesterday morning total of 415,502 people in Scotland had received their first doses.

But Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Willie Rennie said people are seeing “Scotland slip further and further behind England” when it comes to vaccination figures.

Sturgeon said Scotland’s figure for over-80s is lower because there was an increased initial focus on care homes.

“It may take longer to vaccinate someone in a care home but that doesn’t mean the hundreds of thousands of unused vaccines should be left in storage when GPs could be sticking them in people’s arms,” Rennie said.

NHS Shetland’s public health consultant Dr Susan Laidlaw, meanwhile, said yesterday that it was “encouraging” to see lower numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases come through in recent days.

It followed a significant outbreak of cases which originated in the North Mainland just before Christmas.

Dr Laidlaw encouraged people to remain vigilant to Covid symptoms and seek a test “if in any doubt”.