The coronavirus vaccine has begun to be rolled out at sites across Scotland as efforts are taken to protect some of the most vulnerable people in the country.
Having arrived over the weekend, the vaccines made by Pfizer and BioNTech are being stored at 23 different locations in Scotland and the first candidates have now received their initial jabs.
The first batch of vaccines to arrive in Scotland amounted to around 65,000 doses, with the people tasked with administering thousands of injections in the coming weeks among those at the top of the list to be vaccinated.
On Tuesday December 8, a 90-year-old British woman called Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to be given the Pfizer/BioNTech jab as part of a mass vaccination programme.
The UK is now moving ahead with its nationwide vaccinations programme, having become the first country in the world to officially approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for widespread use outside of trial conditions.
Other vaccines have also demonstrated high degrees of effectiveness and should soon be added to the armoury of public health teams trying desperately to bring down the number of Covid-related deaths in Scotland and across the UK.
First minster Nicola Sturgeon said that she watched the footage of Ms Keenan receiving her vaccination in Coventry with “a lump in the throat”.
She tweeted that the initiation of the mass vaccination process “feels like such a milestone moment after a tough year for everyone”.
With healthcare professionals among those being vaccinated first in Scotland, Dr Katie Stewart, a consultant anaesthetist with NHS Borders, spoke after she’d received the first of her two Covid Jabs.
“After a very long hard year looking after patients with Covid and staying apart to protect each other, we finally have something to celebrate,” she said.
“The new vaccination has been tested on over 43,000 people around the world so I am truly delighted to be one of the first people in the Scottish Borders to receive one.”
Although the initiation of a mass vaccination programme offers hope that the Covid crisis might soon subside, first minister Sturgeon has urged everyone in Scotland to stick with the various restrictions that have been made necessary to curtail the spread of the virus.
The Scottish government has committed to spending £64 million next year to help people in all parts of the country reduce their energy bills.
Ministers of the UK government have committed to phasing out the £20 uplift in the regular payments made via the Universal Credit system.
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