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Coronavirus in Aberdeenshire and Moray: First Covid-19 vaccinations begin today in NHS Grampian region

By Alistair Whitfield

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The first vaccinations against Covid-19 are taking place today in the NHS Grampian region which covers Moray, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen.

Initial supplies of the Pfizer vaccine have been arriving at health boards across Scotland since the weekend and are being stored at the required ultra-low temperature.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: "This is obviously a very welcome milestone in our collective fight against the pandemic.

"Science has given us hope and we are starting on a journey which will eventually allow us to return to the lives we want to lead.

"Following clinical advice from the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation, we will begin with those groups which have been prioritised to address 99 per cent of preventable deaths associated with Covid-19.

"These include elderly care home residents and staff, frontline health and social care workers and a number of other groups who are at risk of serious harm and death from this virus.

"We ask everyone to be patient as we work through these groups as quickly as vaccine supply allows and we urge you to go for the vaccine when it’s your turn.

"A vaccination programme of this scale is a significant logistical challenge and requires a major nationwide effort.But it is one we undertake with optimism and determination to succeed."

People being vaccinated will need two doses at least 21 days apart.

Therefore, half of the vaccines will be kept back to make sure the second injections can be given within the advised time-frame.

Deputy chief medical officer Nicola Steedman said: "The arrival of these first Covid-19 vaccines is a huge turning point for us all, and will protect those most at risk from the serious effects of the virus, but we can’t relax yet.

"Even after the first people are vaccinated it will be important for now that everyone continues to follow the Scottish Government’s guidance for their area."

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