Health Secretary thanks staff for their “incredible efforts”.
More than 14.9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccination have been administered in Scotland since the first jab was given exactly two years ago.
The initial effort to protect people from the deadly virus was the biggest logistical operation Scotland had seen since the Second World War.
Thousands of volunteers signed up to help NHS staff, mass vaccination centres were rapidly assembled in major cities and mobile units toured the country.
This rapid deployment meant a million Scots were jabbed within three months – averting 27,656 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation, which noted Scotland’s quick uptake.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:
“On this day we must first remember all those who have lost a loved one to this virus and reflect on what has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone.
“As a nation we can be incredibly proud of our world-leading vaccination programme.
“This could not have happened without the incredible efforts of staff and volunteers across the country. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has not gone away, and I continue to urge everyone to take up the offer of a vaccination when they become eligible. Vaccination reduces the risk of serious illness from the virus. Appointments can be booked online at NHS Inform and a number of drop-in clinics are now in operation - details of these are available on local NHS board websites and social media posts.
David Speirs volunteered to help the vaccination effort in March 2021 and is still involved in the national programme. He said:
“I applied for the vaccinator training programme when I saw the advert in March 2021. I wanted to do something to give back. When I passed the training in May 2021, I felt accomplished and really proud of what we all had achieved being part of the first group. It’s been brilliant to be part of an incredible process to protect people. I maybe the person holding the needle, but behind me there are thousands of others getting us all to this point.”
54 year old Chris Mackinnon is due to receive his winter booster today. He said:
“I want to do all I can to stay safe for myself, friends, and family this Christmas. I have been fortunate in that I have not had COVID-19 and I want it to stay that way.”
33 year old Francesca McDonald is also due to be vaccinated today and said:
“As someone who is immune-compromised, I’ve been pretty timely at keeping up to date with my vaccinations throughout. I have just had a baby so I am delighted be getting this additional protection against COVID-19 so I can enjoy Christmas with my new arrival without worrying about the virus.”
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