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Covid Scotland: One year on, 27,000 deaths averted thanks to vaccination programme

Lynda Smyth receiving the first vaccine from Marion McLaggan with fellow Covid vaccinator Gill Allan.
Lynda Smyth receiving the first vaccine from Marion McLaggan with fellow Covid vaccinator Gill Allan.

An estimated 27,000 deaths have been averted in Scotland, thanks to the nation’s Covid vaccine rollout.

More than 10 million vaccination doses have been administered in Scotland since the first Covid-19 jabs were given exactly one year ago, on December 8 2020.

Over 800,000 Covid-19 vaccinations were delivered in Tayside saving an estimated 2,700 lives across Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross.

The biggest vaccination programme ever undertaken has seen 4,355,063 first doses administered across the country.

First patient to receive AstraZeneca vaccine in Scotland, James Shaw being vaccinated at Lochee Health Centre.

The first Covid vaccination in Tayside was delivered at Ninewells Hospital to staff nurse Lynda Smyth.

Lynda was one of the vaccinators working in the staff clinic. She received her jab from fellow vaccinator, staff nurse Marion McLaggan.

Tayside’s Covid vaccine uptake

Since then, vaccination teams across Tayside have delivered 805,000 Covid vaccines, including first, second, third and booster doses, and 160,000 flu jabs – a total of 965,000 vaccines in 12 months!

Across Scotland, staff at 750 GP practices and more than 17,800 vaccinators have worked to protect people from the virus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates more than 27,000 deaths have been prevented in Scotland.

From the Caird Hall to farms and factories

In Tayside first vaccinations were given to frontline health and social care staff.

They were then rolled out to care homes and GP practices.

The programme gathered pace with the creation of a number of dedicated community vaccination centres in Dundee, Perth, Pitlochry, Blairgowrie, Forfar, Montrose and Arbroath.

This allowed teams to deliver significantly higher numbers of vaccines.

The vaccination bus at the Stack Leisure Park in Dundee.
The Caird Hall team.

Outreach clinics also took place in community venues, religious centres, football stadiums, farms, factories, supermarkets, and university and college campuses.

The programme then moved on to first doses for younger people, before the flu and booster campaign began in September.

‘The vaccination programme has provided us with hope’

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf says: “This has been a year like no other. I would again like to extend my deepest sympathies to all those who lost loved ones to the virus.

“The national vaccination programme has provided us all with hope for the future. It is an overwhelming success.

“From the outset, our Health Boards and vaccination teams have worked tirelessly and at extraordinary pace to give everyone the opportunity to be protected against coronavirus over the past 12 months.

“In fact, they have delivered more first, second, booster and third doses per head than any of the other UK nations.

“We are so grateful for their professionalism and ongoing dedication.

‘The bedrock of our fight against Covid’

“And of course to those who have taken up the offer of vaccine – thank you.

“While vaccination is the bedrock of our fight against Covid-19, with the emergence of the Omicron variant it is important we take other precautions to prevent transmission.

“So test regularly for the virus, particularly before socialising, wear face marks where required and open windows to improve ventilation.”

Humza Yousaf gets his jag at Dundee’s Caird Hall.

Director of Public Health NHS Tayside Dr Emma Fletcher says: “To have delivered close to one million Covid and flu vaccines in the last year is truly remarkable and has been crucial in our response to the pandemic.

“Our huge thanks go to all of our vaccinators, support teams, marshalls, volunteers and partner organisations.”

Chief Executive Grant Archibald adds: “The people of Tayside played a significant part by turning up in their thousands to roll up their sleeves and get protected.

“A big thank you to you all.”

Covid vaccine in Scotland: Track the rollout progress with these charts

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