The Scottish Government has announced on Wednesday that more than a fifth of the population of Scotland have now received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

69-year-old John Loch from Bearsden was among those vaccinated on the day the milestone was reached. The retired businessman received his first dose at NHS Louisa Jordan in Glasgow.

Mr Loch said: “I am delighted to have received my vaccine, particularly on the day Scotland reached a million doses. It is exciting to be a part of this milestone moment.

“I would like to thank all the staff at the Louisa Jordan for being so reassuring and making the process so simple and straightforward.”

69 year-old John Loch from Glasgow receives his Covid-19 vaccination from vaccinator Nicole Clark at the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow. ALL PHOTOS: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

This is the biggest mass vaccination programme ever conducted in Scotland, and the numbers show that it has picked up pace particularly in the last week or so, and now the 70-79 age group is receiving their first doses.

The opening of the mass vaccination centres at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), the P&J Live in Aberdeen and other large sites including the Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston.

By the end of this week it is expected that everyone in the 70-79 age group will have received the vaccine. The next priority group according to the guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will be those aged 65 and over who should now be receiving their invitations for their appointments.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “This is an important milestone in the biggest vaccination programme ever delivered in Scotland and I would like to thank everyone involved and all those who have taken up their offer of a vaccine.

“We have now given first doses to more than a million people in the groups which were prioritised to address 99 per cent of preventable deaths associated with COVID-19. These include elderly care home residents and staff, frontline health and social care workers and those who are at risk of serious harm and death from this virus.

“Scotland’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is delivering ahead of our expectations. Our aim is to vaccinate as many people as possible with both their first and second doses as quickly as possible but the speed at which we can do this depends on supply and we expect a dip in supplies UK wide towards the end of this month.

“We hope to see a significant drop in the disease due to the vaccination programme, however this will take a number of months to evaluate fully. In the shorter term, we are monitoring the uptake rate but we also have a comprehensive surveillance system in place to monitor outcome of vaccine efficacy and disease reduction.

“Each health board is working hard to get the vaccine into people’s arms as quickly as possible, and everyone eligible will be offered the vaccine as we work our way through the priority groups.”

 “We continue to urge everyone to take up their appointment when they are offered one. 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 everyone in Scotland must follow. All these measures work to greatest effect when they work together.”