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Scotland to receive 44,000 doses of Oxford vaccine on Monday

Scotland's Health Secretary Jeane Freeman holds a briefing on the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in Edinburgh. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 26, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Andy Buchanan/PA Wire
Scotland's Health Secretary Jeane Freeman holds a briefing on the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in Edinburgh. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 26, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Andy Buchanan/PA Wire

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has confirmed Scotland will receive 44,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Monday.

The vaccine was approved by regulators yesterday, setting in motion a roll-out that is expecting to be fast and expansive thanks to the ease of storage.

While other vaccines, such as the one produced by Pfizer, need to be kept at an extremely low temperature, the Oxford one can be stored in a standard fridge.

Ms Freeman said this meant it will be available to over 80s who live in their own homes, as it could be administered at GP practices, pharmacies and local vaccination centres that do not have access to super-cold freezers.

Ultimately, mobile units will also be used to help immunise people in parts of the country that are harder to reach.

Of the 540,000 Oxford vaccine doses that are set to arrive in the UK for Monday, 44,000 will be coming north of the border, Ms Freeman told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland.

‘Delighted and hugely thankful’

The health secretary added that there would be enough trained people available to administer the vaccine nationwide.

She said: “We’ve got 2,300 registered vaccinators, those are people with the right clinical experience, and our modelling tells us we will need around 1,400 whole-time equivalents.

“We’re ready to do that, and I’m absolutely delighted and hugely thankful to clinical staff, qualified staff in the NHS but also from NHS contractors like pharmacies and dentists and others who have volunteered to give us shifts in order to be able to do this.

“We want to be able to vaccinate not just during the day, but over weekends and into the evenings, so people are being really enthusiastic and positive and helpful in wanting to be part of this major national effort.”

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