The operator of an Aberdeen care home where two people have died following a widespread outbreak of Covid-19 said the impact would have been more “severe” had residents not been vaccinated.
NHS Grampian confirmed that 85 cases had been detected at Grandholm Care Home in Bridge of Don – with 53 residents and 32 staff affected.
The two people who died had tested positive for Covid but had received their first dose of the vaccine.
According to operator Holmes Care Group, the two residents who lost their lives were receiving end-of-life care at the Aberdeen facility.
Confirming the deaths, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said it would be working with “relevant agencies” as part of an investigation into the outbreak.
A spokesman added: “COPFS has established a dedicated team to deal with reports of Covid or presumed Covid deaths in care homes or where the deceased may have contracted the virus in the course of their employment.
“The Covid-19 Deaths Investigation Team (CDIT) receives and deals with those reports and will work with the relevant agencies to ensure that all necessary and appropriate investigations are undertaken and that each investigation progresses as expediently as it can.”
Homes Care Group said all patients and staff at the 79-bed care facility “had been vaccinated” prior to the virus outbreak.
A spokeswoman said the vaccine had “worked as planned and has prevented severe disease in the vast majority of cases”.
The care home is now closed to new admissions and non-essential visits, in line with Scottish Government guidance.
The spokeswoman added: “We are working closely with all relevant authorities to contain the spread of the virus.
“Of the residents and staff who tested positive, the vast majority have shown either no symptoms, or mild symptoms only.
“A number of staff and residents have already completed the self-isolation period, and the remaining residents are due to complete isolation on Sunday.”
NHS Grampian said it was aware of the 85 cases at the care home – the first of which was detected on January 8.
A spokeswoman for the health board said it was working alongside Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership “to provide additional support and guidance to the home management team”.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Every life lost to this virus is a tragedy, and our thoughts and condolences are with all of those who have lost a loved one.
“It is reassuring to hear that our approach of vaccinating care homes as quickly as possible could already be significantly limiting the impact of outbreaks – we wish all those affected in this case a rapid recovery.
“We must remember though that vaccines take time to work, particularly in the elderly, and are not 100% effective. And we still don’t know yet if the Covid vaccines affect transmission.
“That means, therefore, we will unfortunately be likely to continue to see some cases for the foreseeable future in care homes, and it underlines how important the other protective measures we have in place in these vulnerable settings remain.
“The vaccination programme is one of three key ways we are working to beat this virus, along with our expanded testing programme to identify cases and break chains of transmission and the important lockdown restrictions and other hygiene advice everyone in Scotland must follow.
“All these measures work to greatest effect when they work together.”