A north GP has said there are “plenty” of vaccines to go around as doses are to be administered at surgeries in the Highlands next week.
Dr Iain Kennedy, an Inverness based GP, spoke to BBC’s Good Morning Scotland on Saturday as he delivered an update on the impact of the pandemic in the Highlands.
Dr Kennedy, who is also the north of Scotland representative for the British Medical Association (BMA), said there has been an increase in cases across the region.
Dr Kennedy told the BBC: “We have seen a sharp rise in case numbers in Highland and I was hearing yesterday that our rates are as high as down in Edinburgh.
“There was a belief before that rates were higher further down in the Central Belt but we are seeing lots of cases up here in Highland now.
“We are concerned.
“It is just fantastic timing that the Covid vaccines are now becoming available.
“We have plenty of vaccines.
“We have got Pfizer vaccines leftover and obviously the game changer with the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines becoming available, we have got plenty supply.
“We envisage delivering a very successful programme starting next week.”
Those over the age of 80 will be given the jab first with Dr Kennedy one of many health workers already to have received the first dose of the vaccine.
He continued: “I had the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday. No side effects and I am now feeling safe and protected and looking forward to giving the vaccine to my own patients.
“My two rural practices in Foyers by Loch Ness and in Cromarty, we are receiving doses on Wednesday and we will be vaccinating our over 80s on Thursday and Friday.”
Dr Kennedy said there is “really good news” for his patients in Alness and Invergordon as supply of the vaccine was confirmed on Thursday with more than 600 patients contacted on Friday.
Clinics are to be held in the early parts of next week as the rollout of the vaccination programme progresses.
Dr Iain Kennedy has said there are plenty of vaccines availableDr Kennedy added: “The vaccine is being delivered at 10.30am on Monday and the first over 80 patient will be vaccinated in Alness and Invergordon around 11.30am.
“What I was hearing is there has been about a 98% uptake from patients and I was also hearing that patients have burst into tears with relief when contacted about their appointments.”
Dr Kennedy urged those seeking information about the vaccine roll out to access GP surgeries websites rather than calling so lines can remain open.
The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine will also be delivered to those over 80 in Golspie, Dornoch, Bonar Bridge and Brora next week.
A recent rollout of flu vaccinations in the north, where around 80% took up the offered jab, has given Dr Kennedy hope of a successful Covid vaccination programme.
“We start from a really positive base and we are confident that this Covid vaccine delivery programme will be a major success,” he concluded.