The newest mass vaccination centre opened on Wednesday at the Members’ Pavilion at Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston.

This is staffed at present by vaccinators from NHS Lothian, and then British Armed Forces will staff the centre for around two weeks before NHS vaccinators will return after more training and inductions have been conducted.

The number of people who have been vaccinated this week are as follows:

DateNumber of first vaccinations administeredNumber of daily vaccinations recorded for the previous day
3 February 2021649,26238,484
2 February 2021610,77834,881
1 February 2021575,8979,628

David Small, Director of Primary Care Transformation and executive lead for the vaccination programme, NHS Lothian, said: “It is very exciting to see a new mass vaccination centre open, especially one that is being supported by our colleagues from the British Armed Forces.

“The swift opening of this venue will allow us to increase our capacity across the Lothians and allow us to start vaccinating 65-69-year-olds sooner than we expected.

“I’m incredibly proud of all of the work and effort done by our teams to get this venue up and running. It has taken a lot of work, but we are now seeing the delivery of this lifesaving vaccine to thousands of people across Lothian.”

Elizabeth Kirk

The first person to be vaccinated in the Members’ Pavilion at the Royal Highland Showground was Elizabeth Kirk (68) a retired legal secretary from Linlithgow.

She said: “I’m very excited. I haven’t been going out much recently so I feel more relaxed having had the vaccine, although I’ll still be very careful.

“The whole process has been easy and well organised and the staff are very friendly, which is important. There really is nothing to worry about.”

Alan Laidlaw, Chief Executive of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, said: “We can think of no greater use for our facilities at the Royal Highland Centre than to support the national vaccine programme.

“As an event venue attracting upwards of one million people each year and home to Scotland’s largest outdoor event, the Royal Highland Show, we are hopeful that the mass roll out of the vaccination will see the safe return of events in 2021.”

People aged between 75-79 and those most clinically vulnerable will continue to be given appointments to be vaccinated by their GP, while those aged between 70-74 and 65 to 69 are being invited into these mass vaccination sites and smaller community venues for their injections.

Smaller community clinics will deliver vaccinations in the local area for people with complex needs or who, for other reasons, absolutely cannot and would not be expected to travel to a mass centre.

Mr Small added: “We have already vaccinated the vast majority of the first groups to be prioritised, including frontline health and social care staff; care home staff and residents and people over the age of 80.

“More than 90,000 people have already had their first dose of the vaccine. 

“Our message is clear – for this programme to be successful we need to vaccinate as many people as we possibly can.   This will help save lives, provide protection and allow us to get back to normal. 

“When you receive an appointment, I really would urge you to keep it, even if it is at a centre which is not closest to your home. Attending your appointment is the most important thing you will do this year.”

When you are called for vaccination you are asked to stay safe by wearing a mask and maintaining physical distancing as you travel to and from vaccination centres in Lothian.

There will be parking available at some venues, and public transport all follow the government transport guidance for safe travel.

NHS Lothian advice on attending vaccination centres

Please arrive on time for the allocated time on your appointment letter. Arriving too early can cause unnecessary queues.

When you arrive, make sure to wear a mask and bring your appointment letter with you to avoid any unnecessary delays.

The vaccination programme is one of three critical ways we are all working together to beat this virus, along with the testing programme which helps prevent its spread and the rules in place that we all know to follow. These three planks form our route out of this pandemic.

More details and information about the venues can be found on NHS Lothian’s website