The first venues have been confirmed for Scotland’s mass coronavirus vaccination program.
NHS Lothian said three large venues capable of supplying thousands of vaccines at once have been identified and decided upon.
The next phase of the vaccination program in Scotland is scheduled to begin shortly. People 75 to 79 years of age will be vaccinated, followed by people 70 to 74 and 65 to 69 years of age, and adults 60 and older who have risk factors.
First locations declared for the mass coronavirus vaccination program for Scotland
In order to ensure that sites are ready when the roll-out starts, which is planned in February, NHS Lothian is collaborating with councils, health and social care partnerships and other stakeholders.
In West Lothian, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) and Pyramids Business Park (PBP) have already been decided and details for Queen Margaret University (QMU) in East Lothian are being finalized.
A number of local ancillary centers are also being built by the four Health and Social Care Partnerships – East Lothian, Edinburgh, Midlothian and West Lothian – to supplement the larger venues.
David Small, Primary Care Transformation Chief, NHS Lothian, who is heading the initiative, said he was pleased to have decided on three major locations.
He added: “This is the largest program of mass immunization being carried out. It’s a huge task, and although all the teams are working flat out, we know we need to make sure we first get the delivery right.”
The project is associated with many obstacles, but we are meeting each one head on and we are pleased that these three venues have now been finalized. We do have to consider and discuss a range of other possibilities, but this is a landmark.
“It means we can start work in the new year as we continue to plan the smaller centers that will complement the larger venues.”
Plans are being built for a walk-in center at the EICC to be able to vaccinate 26,000 individuals a week at about 50 stations in total.
PBP is expected to have a similar walk-in facility, which will include 12,000 vaccines a week at around 25 stations.
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For Queen Margaret University in East Lothian, a drive-through vaccination center is also planned, which will have around 16 stations and vaccinate 8,000 individuals a week.
When they are fit for a vaccine appointment, people will be contacted by the NHS. They are not supposed to directly contact the wards, since they will not have the necessary data.
This new phase will be accompanied by the launch of Wave 3 in the spring, which will again target individual age groups, beginning with the 60-64, 55-59, 50-54 age groups, followed by the rest of the population.