A nurse who was among the first people to receive the coronavirus vaccine outside of clinical trials has said he was “proud and excited” to get the jab.
Andrew Mencnarowski received the injection at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh on Tuesday morning.
Mr Mencnarowski, a senior charge nurse who is a clinical lead of outpatient theatres with NHS Lothian, will now go on to vaccinate colleagues at the hospital.
Speaking to the PA news agency, he said he felt “absolutely fine” after the jab and thanked other staff for their hard work during the pandemic.
He said: “It’s a huge step forward in the battle against the Covid virus.
“I feel very proud and excited to be part of it all.”
Mr Mencnarowski added: “My department has never stopped.
“The workload changed but I have to say the staff have been absolutely fantastic, they stepped up to the plate.
“They put themselves out, they went the extra mile on more than one occasion.
“I can’t thank the staff down in theatres in my department enough.”
Workers will be relieved the vaccine is now being delivered, he said, adding: “Some staff, don’t get me wrong, are a bit wary about it.
“But the majority of staff in the Western I’ve spoken to are keen on the vaccine and are looking forward to getting the vaccine.
“It wouldn’t have been passed by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) if it wasn’t safe.
“I know it seems quick but they didn’t cut any corners.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s safe and I’m willing to take the vaccine and move on forward.”
As well as frontline NHS staff, care home residents and the over-80s are in the first cohort to be vaccinated.
Scotland’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Nicola Steedman was also at the Western General as some of the first vaccinations were performed.
Dr Steedman said: “This is a monumental turning point in the pandemic for everyone.
“We’ve waited so long for this – if you’d told us in March or April that it has been shown to be this effective, 95% effective at preventing clinical disease from Covid, we wouldn’t have believed it.”
She added: “This is of absolutely international significance and I’m thrilled and proud to be a part of it in Scotland today.”
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