Scots can prepare for 'normal way of life' with vaccine roll-out
The first supplies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine arrived north of the Border over the weekend and the first doses will be administered to health workers tomorrow. Those workers will in turn be giving the jab to the wider population.
Supplies have now been delivered to different centres across the country.
Ms Sturgeon told Monday’s daily coronavirus briefing that cases of the virus were continuing to fall across Scotland, with 677 new positive tests recorded in the past 24 hours.
There was just one new death, although cases are lower at weekends with most registration offices closed.
The First Minister visited the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh on Monday and met staff co-ordinating the delivery of the vaccine.
"Tomorrow is a big day, it's an important day, a day that has been a long time in coming when we take the first steps in the vaccination programme and take the first steps towards that light at the end of the tunnel,” the First Minister said.
She added: "This is obviously extremely positive news.
"The use of vaccination in time should enable all of us to return to conditions which are much more like normal life.
"But vaccination is major logistical exercise and will take time to work our way through a vaccination programme."
Ms Sturgeon warned that it would not remove the need for caution and following Covid rules throughout the winter period.
"The fact that we are so close to being able to vaccinate the population as a whole should encourage all of us to be that little bit more careful and pay even more attention to rules and guidelines to try to keep ourselves and those we love as safe as possible over the course of the winter period," the First Minister said.
"Now that we can see the prospect of a return to a more normal way of life we hope in the first half of next year, I think that should give us all the more incentive to stay safe and keep each other safe over the period that lies ahead."
The first phase of the roll-out aims to have all over 50s vaccinated by next Summer, with care home residents, NHS staff and over 80s being targeted first. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine requires two jabs three weeks apart. Although some immunity starts feeding through after the first inoculation, it is not until a week after the second jab that full protection takes effect.
Military planners have been working with Scottish Government officials and a number of Scottish health boards, to provide the strategic expertise to ensure that the vaccine is rolled out as efficiently as possible across Scotland.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “The start of the vaccination programme in Scotland is great news. It gives us all hope that at some point our lives will get back to something like normal.
“The UK Government is playing a key role in making sure everyone in the UK will have access to vaccines. We pre-ordered, and are paying for, vaccines for the whole of the United Kingdom.”
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