Covid in Scotland: Mass vaccination of health and care staff begins

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image captionThe exercise marks the start of the government's rollout of mass vaccinations for front-line care staff

More than 5,000 health and social care staff have been taking part in a mass vaccination exercise at Glasgow's emergency coronavirus hospital.

Up to 500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were due to be administered every hour at the NHS Louisa Jordan until 19:30 on Saturday.

The exercise was part of the rollout of the vaccine to front-line care staff.

It comes as Scotland recorded 1,753 new Covid cases in the past 24 hours. A further 78 deaths were also recorded.

The number of new infections is 407 below the 2,160 announced on Friday, but the number of people who have died is 17 higher.

As of Friday evening, 1,863 people were in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19, up by three.

There were also 145 patients in intensive care, an increase of four.

The number of new vaccinations are not reported at the weekend.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe NHS Louisa Jordan in Glasgow was created as an emergency hospital during the pandemic

Front-line health and care workers are among the first two groups - which also includes care home residents and the over-80s in the community - who will be given priority to receive the vaccine.

Health Secretary Jean Freeman said those aged 70 and over would be vaccinated by mid-February, with those aged over 65 and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable being vaccinated by the beginning of March.

The vaccination rollout for front-line health workers at the Louisa Jordan was being carried out by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde at the Scottish Events Campus building, converted for use as an emergency hospital during the pandemic.

An additional 2,350 staff were also being vaccinated at different sites across the country over the weekend.

Ms Freeman, said: "To have 5,000 vaccinations taking place at NHS Louisa Jordan in a single day is testament to the hard work of all the staff at the hospital and I want to thank each and every one of them for their part in the rollout of the biggest vaccination programme ever undertaken in Scotland.

"The vaccine offers us hope and as we vaccinate more and more people that hope becomes more real."

Ms Freeman said the Scottish government's testing programme was also crucial to winning the race against the virus, in addition to members of the public following public health advice and abiding by new restrictions.

It comes as new tighter restrictions on takeaway outlets and click-and-collect shopping came into force on Saturday.

The changes are among six new rules announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier this week.