The biggest mass vaccination programme in Scotland has now delivered second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to more than half of care home residents.

In total, 17,258 care home residents which equates to 58% of residents in older adult care homes and 54% of residents in all care homes, have received the second dose. Although the first dose is already effective, the government says it is the second which offers longer lasting protection.

The government followed guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on who should get the vaccine first. Supplies of vaccines were then used in that order and now second doses are being delivered within twelve weeks of the first dose to those at greatest risk from coronavirus

For the population as a whole 1,743,869 have received their first dose, and 114,081 have been given their second dose as at 7.30am on Saturday. Invitations are now being issued to all groups in phase one of the roll-out and subject to supply, the programme remains on track to offer first doses to all over 50 year olds, unpaid carers and those with particular underlying health conditions by the middle of April.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman at the Coronavirus Daily Briefing on 3 March 2021 at St Andrew’s House PHOTO courtesy of The Scottish Government

Heath Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “I am pleased to see that more than half of care home residents have received their second doses, giving them longer lasting protection. I want to thank all those who have taken up their offer of a vaccination – the high take up in these settings has contributed to a reduction in outbreaks of the virus in care homes.

“Alongside other protections in place, vaccination has also helped to enable the resumption of indoor visiting, reuniting families with their loved ones.

“Scotland’s Covid-19 vaccination programme continues to deliver at pace, which is down to the enormous efforts of our vaccination teams and I want to thank everyone who is working tirelessly to make this a success.

 “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.”