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NHS Scotland ready to start Covid-19 vaccinations in the next fortnight, according to health secretary Jeane Freeman – but vaccines yet to be approved

By Scott Maclennan

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Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.

Scotland will be in a position to start delivering the Covid vaccination programme from as early as the first week December, the health secretary Jeane Freeman has said.

If given approval to move ahead with a vaccine, NHS Scotland would be ready to start vaccinations within the next two weeks.

Ms Freeman told the Scottish Parliament that it is hoped that up to one million people could be vaccinated by the end of January.

Around 4.4 million Scots over the age of 18 are due to get the Covid jab in the coming months.

The first wave will be carried out from December to February and it will take until spring next year to complete.

Top of the queue for the vaccine are – frontline health and social care staff, older residents in care homes, care home staff, over 80s, unpaid carers and those delivering the programme.

Next in line are people aged over 65 and those under 65 who are at an additional clinical risk before it is made available to the wider population.

Ms Freeman said: "Scotland has an excellent track record of vaccinations. But this is to be one of the biggest civilian logistical challenges in our lifetime.

"We are hopeful that over the coming weeks into 2021 we will have more than one vaccine available to us, so that we can, with minimum delay, vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible."

The health secretary underlined that the vaccination programme has yet to be approved for use.

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