All adults in Western Isles offered a Covid vaccine

The Western Isles has become the first health board to announce it has offered a Covid vaccine to everyone eligible.

All adults over 18 and 16 and 17 year olds with an underlying health condition have either received a first dose, had an appointment scheduled, or declined to take the offer of a vaccine up.

Health board leaders hailed the “important stage” of the vaccination programme and thanked staff for their hard work throughout.

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Just under 87 per cent of the Western Isles population has had a first dose, meaning some 3,000 eligible locals are either still to receive a dose or have not taken up their appointment.

Lynsey Mackenzie, the first person in the Western Isles to receive the vaccine.

Older age groups in the Western Isles have reached 92 per cent coverage or above, with gaps remaining in the under-50s group, which may be filled in coming days.

Some 85 per cent of 40-49-year-olds have had a dose, along with 74 per cent of 30-39-year-olds and 62 per cent of over-16s.

The health board said some people who have been abroad or on the mainland have not yet been able to take up a dose and will be given the option.

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NHS Western Isles chief executive Gordon Jamieson said: “As we reach this important stage in this unprecedented mass vaccination programme, the most important point to stress is the enormous team effort this has been, between our own staff, partner organisations, volunteers and local businesses throughout our islands.

“Without the incredible team working and pulling together as communities, we would not have achieved such wonderful success with the vaccination programme.”

The Western Isles, with an eligible population of just over 22,000, has steamed ahead of other health boards.

Other island boards have also had a faster rollout, with Shetland and Orkney close behind.

In Scotland as a whole 65 per cent of people have been given a first dose.

Regarding the difference in vaccine pace between health boards, the Scottish Government said: “Vaccine doses are being allocated to local health boards on an equitable basis, recognising the different population share and geography.

"The way that the vaccine is rolled out in a small island community is clearly very different to how it is rolled out in our cities.”

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