In the biggest vaccination programme in Scotland, two million doses of vaccine have now been administered to 44% of the eligible population.

Ian Love (60) from Dunipace was among those who received the vaccination today, on the day the milestone was reached. Mr Love, an engineering manager received his shot at Forth Valley College’s Stirling campus used by NHS Forth Valley.

At present the vaccination programme is treating those in priority groups 6 and 7 which includes those with particular underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. Appointments are now being scheduled for those who are aged between 50 and 59 who are in groups 8 and 9.

Heath Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “More than two million people in Scotland have now received their first dose of the vaccine. That this has been achieved in little more than three months is down to the enormous efforts of our vaccination teams. I would like to thank everyone who is working tirelessly to make this a success, and also every individual who has taken up their offer of a vaccine.

“Scotland’s Covid-19 vaccination programme is now in the final stages of vaccinating the first nine priority groups. When you are offered the vaccine please take up the invitation. 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.” 

Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland Dr Miles Mack said: “It is remarkable that a year after the first Covid-19 mortality in Scotland, effective vaccines have been developed, and are now being rapidly rolled out across the country. It is a testament to the hard working healthcare staff, military personnel and volunteers that we mark the milestone of 2 million first dose vaccinations, since the vaccine rollout programme began in December.

“We know that the vaccines are safe and effective. They are a vital tool in reducing the number of Covid-19 cases and in ensuring that people are protected against this deadly disease. But there is more work to be done. Much of the adult population is yet to receive their first vaccine dose, and I would encourage people to take up the offer of a vaccine when they are called. I’d also ask the public to please bear with us while they are waiting their turn to be vaccinated. I know that vaccinators are working through the clinical priority list as quickly as they possibly can.”

Mr Love said: “I am so pleased to have had my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is such a relief and it really is starting to feel like we can start to think about a return to normal life.

“I want to thank everyone at NHS Forth Valley – the whole procedure has been simple and the local staff were very reassuring and clearly explained the process.  I look forward to getting my second dose in around twelve weeks’ time.”

Waiting area outside the main entrance to the coronavirus mass vaccine centre at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Picture date: Monday February 1, 2021. PHOTO: Jane Barlow/PA Wire