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Coronavirus / More than 1,000 Covid vaccines given out on Tuesday after supply boost

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

MORE than 1,000 Covid vaccines were given out in Shetland on Tuesday – but the stop-start nature of supply means the pace will dip again.

More than two thirds of the adult population in Shetland have received a first dose, and over one third have had their second.

Speaking in an online livestream hosted by NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson last night (Wednesday), vaccination programme lead Brian Chittick said progress was good.

But he reiterated that the pace all depends on the rate at which the health board receives doses.

When asked when all adults may have be offered a first vaccine, Chittick said: “We’re still aiming for summer.

“But that really is dependent on the vaccine supply. And I think everybody has been aware…that the supply has been a little bit peaks and troughs.”

The increase in recent supply meant that over 1,500 doses have been given out over the last few days, he said.

NHS Shetland’s Brian Chittick. Photo: Shetland News

“At the minute we’re doing over 44s,” Chittick added. “When we get the next lot of vaccine we’ll be moving into the lower age groups.”

He also encouraged anyone over 70 who had their first dose at the Independent Living Centre in Lerwick but is still waiting on a second jab to get in touch with NHS Shetland on 01595 743319.

Public health consultant Dr Susan Laidlaw, meanwhile, said it “looks like we will be doing boosters later on this year, and maybe after that as well”.

She also reiterated that a recent increase in confirmed cases was down to the virus being brought in from elsewhere.

As previously reported, crew of a seismic survey vessel which had docked in Lerwick were placed into quarantine following a few positive results.

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Dr Laidlaw said the cases were still added to the local tally, and added that this will continue to happen as people keep travelling to Shetland for work, or as ships pass through.

Dickson also encouraged people to be mindful, careful and pragmatic when all restrictions on travel ease from Monday (26 April).

He said it is inevitable that case numbers will rise as rules slacken.

Dickson also encouraged people to think about going on a ‘staycation’ this year rather than heading abroad, with uncertainty over how restrictions on travelling to certain countries will pan out.

People are being encouraged to take two lateral flow tests before travelling to islands like Shetland, which can be ordered online here. They are not compulsory.

Dr Laidlaw suggested that due to the low incidence of coronavirus in Shetland at the moment there is less need for local people to take the test before heading to the Scottish mainland, but they are encouraged to have ones before returning home.

Meanwhile, NHS Shetland has launched a new Covid microsite that brings together information around the virus, testing and vaccination.

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