Scotland’s Health Secretary has said the first big wave of Covid-19 vaccinations in Scotland could be completed by the spring.
Those giving the vaccine, people aged over 80 and health and social care workers will be the first to receive the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, which the UK became the first country in the world to approve for use on Wednesday.
Jeane Freeman MSP said Scotland will receive 8.2% of the 800,000 doses (just over 65,500) in the first delivery secured by the UK, with more to come in the weeks ahead.
The first coronavirus vaccines in Scotland will be administered on Tuesday.
Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme on Thursday’s morning, Ms Freeman said that the doses will go to the 23 commercial-size freezers in acute hospitals around Scotland which can hold the vaccine in the very low temperature it requires.
She said that discussions are underway about the logistics of distributing the vaccine, which has to be stored at an ultra-low temperature of between minus 70C and minus 80C, adding that it is not possible to take it into care homes at this point.
“The doses come to us in packs of 997 and we need to know to what degree can we pack that down into smaller pack sizes, because if we can’t then we need to absolutely bring those who are to be vaccinated to those freezers, in effect to the centres, because there’s a limit to how much you can transport the doses once you’ve defrosted them.
“The problem is the pack size – 997 doses each then has to be used in a very limited time period once you’ve defrosted it. We don’t want to waste any of this vaccine so it’s not possible at this point in smaller doses to take it, for example, into care homes – that’s the work…
— to www.scotsman.com