Care homes on course to get second Covid jab by January 16

A mass campaign of Covid-19 vaccination in Dumfries and Galloway is on course to see care home residents and staff receive their second jab by January 16.

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 10:24 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 10:25 am
Galloway Community Hospital charge nurse Jason Jordan receives his first vaccination

Delivery of the first of two jabs was provided in all care homes in the region by Christmas Eve.

Immunity begins to develop following the first dose, but is fully established seven days after the second.

The current schedule would mean that the fullest degree of protection would be in place for these groups by January 23 at the very latest.

Chief Officer of Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership Julie White said: “Care homes are particularly vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19, so the protection this vaccine offers will be a huge comfort and relief to residents and their families, and also to the staff working so hard to help them and keep them safe.

“Covid vaccinations only began in the region on December 8, so delivering the first of two doses to care home residents and staff ahead of Christmas against some of the storage and transport limitations posed by the initial Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is testament to the efforts of the incredibly hard-working vaccination team.

“However, we still have a very long way to go in order to establish widespread immunity across Dumfries and Galloway. Until that time, it’s essential that everyone continues to follow the rules around the appropriate wearing of face coverings, hand hygiene, physical distancing and social interaction, and especially around immediately self-isolating and arranging to be tested if experiencing any symptoms of Covid.”

It is expected the vaccination programme will accelerate significantly upon the approval of the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine, which unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine does not need to be stored at temperatures of -70 degrees Celsius.

Vaccination of people aged over 80 is scheduled to start on January 18.

People are asked not to make approaches to their GP or NHS to enquire about provision of a Covid-19 vaccination.

All those identified as eligible in the first cohort set out by the Scottish Government will be contacted directly.

GP practices will be scheduling appointments for people aged over 80 this month, so there is no need to contact the practices or the NHS.