Mass vaccination centres in Edinburgh, West Lothian and Aberdeen poised to open on Monday

The first mass vaccination centres in the east of Scotland are set to open on Monday, with capacity for up to 20,000 doses a week.

Staff at the P&J Live in Aberdeen, the Strathbrock Partnership Centre in Broxburn, West Lothian, and the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) have been vaccinating each other in preparation this week, with both centres ready to fully open from Monday.

The EICC will have capacity to vaccinate more than 21,000 people a week at 45 stations, while Strathbrock will have six stations, and capacity for just under 2,400 people.

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It will move to Pyramids Business Park on February 15, after which staff will be able to get through over 14,000 people a week.

The centre will have capacity for over 20,000 people a week. Picture: Andy O'Brien.

The centre in Aberdeen will start with 20 booths, vaccinating around 6,000 people weekly.

The NHS Louisa Jordan mass vaccination centre in Glasgow has been operating since December 8, carrying out 1,000–5,000 vaccinations daily. The facility has the capacity to move to 10,000 per day.

Health secretary Jeane Freeman thanked those involved in setting up the centres at the coronavirus daily briefing on Friday.

"I would like to thank all those involved in setting up the mass vaccination centres in Edinburgh and Aberdeen and, of course, the NHS Lothian and NHS Grampian staff who will be delivering the vaccines,” she said.

The centre is due to open on Monday. Picture: Andy O'Brien.

“It is testament to all those working hard to roll-out the vaccination programme that major logistical operations such as these are up and running despite the current restrictions.”

David Small, head of NHS Lothian’s vaccination programme, said it was a “really exciting and significant moment .”

“We have been planning, checking and cross-checking to make sure everything will be as safe and as smooth an experience as possible for people on Monday as we embark on the largest vaccination project of its kind,” he said.

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“It has taken a lot of work, in such a short time to get us to the point where we can begin delivering the lifesaving vaccine to thousands of people across Lothian. I’m really proud of all of the work and effort from all of our teams.

People aged between 75-79 and those most clinically vulnerable will be given appointments to be vaccinated by their GP, while those aged between 70-74 and 65 to 69 will be invited into these mass vaccination sites and smaller community venues for their injections, he said.

A drive-through vaccination centre will be launched on February 10 at Queen Margaret University in East Lothian. It will have 16 stations and be capable of vaccinating 8,000 people a week.

Opposition MSPs accused the SNP of a “last-minute rush” to get the centres open.

“All the SNP’s hopes to speed up their flagging rollout seem to be pinned on the last-minute rush to get mass vaccination centre open,” said Donald Cameron MSP.

“There’s no doubt mass centres will give the SNP’s rollout a shot in the arm, so to speak, but it remains to be seen if they will still be lagging behind.”

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