MORE than one million Scots are set to be vaccinated before the end of January, according to Scottish Government plans, in what would be one of the biggest logistical challenges in living memory.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the Scottish Government plans to vaccinate 4.4 million Scots over the age of 18 in the coming months.

She said ministers hoped to begin the vaccination programme in the first week of December, with 320,000 doses expected that month.

Ms Freeman said: "Scotland has an excellent track record of vaccinations. 

"But this is to be one of the biggest civilian logistical challenges in our lifetime."

When will the first wave of vaccination take place?

Ministers hope the delivery programme will take from December until spring next year to complete. 

The first wave will be carried out from December to February. 

The Gazette:

Who will be prioritised?

The Scottish Government’s priority for the vaccination is as follows:  

  • Frontline health and social care staff,
  • Older residents in care homes,
  • Care home staff,
  • Those aged over 80,
  • Unpaid carers
  • Those who will be delivering the vaccination programme.

Those aged over 65 and those under 65 who are at an additional clinical risk will then vaccinated, before it is offered to the wider population. 

What has the Scottish Government said?

Ms Freeman said Scotland will need more than 2,000 vaccinators and support staff by the end of January. 

This means around one million people will be able to vaccinated by that time. 

She said: "We are hopeful that over the coming weeks into 2021 we will have more than one vaccine available to us, so that we can, with minimum delay, vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible."

However Ms Freeman stressed there are still a number of unknowns, such as which vaccines will be approved for use.

The Scottish Government hopes to be able to vaccinate in locations such as GP practices and care homes. 

Some people could be vaccinated at home if necessary.

Ms Freeman said the first vaccines will require two doses three to four weeks apart. 

"It's possible that further booster doses and even an annual programme might be required," she said.