Region Well Prepared For Covid Vaccination Programme    

A MASSIVE COVID-19 immunisation campaign could follow the current flu vaccination programme in Dumfries and Galloway. 


Against the backdrop of positive early data about one of the developing COVID-19 vaccines, NHS Dumfries and Galloway stands ready and well-prepared to help deliver any vaccination in line with national directions.


Consultant in Public Health Medicine Dr Nigel Calvert is Immunisation Co-ordinator for NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and he said: “The initial data about the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is obviously very encouraging, but work is still required before any vaccine for the coronavirus is ready and available.


“That said, the success to date of the biggest flu vaccination campaign ever mounted within Dumfries and Galloway does offer a very good degree of confidence that we’ll be able to help deliver COVID vaccinations when we are at that point.”


Almost two-thirds of the region’s population of 150,000 people are eligible to receive a free flu vaccination, and the programme in Dumfries and Galloway is on course to be concluded in line with national directions.


A COVID-19 vaccination programme would be an even more challenging undertaking.


As has been announced nationally, the first cohorts to receive the vaccination would be care home residents, people working in health and social care, and those aged over 80.


As with the recent flu vaccination campaign, people would receive their vaccinations in centralised public locations – not in GP practices.


Dr Calvert said: “All of this will be arranged as we move forwards, but in the meantime it is important that we don’t forget that COVID continues to pose an immediate risk to ourselves, our families and our communities. 
“It’s very important that we continue to follow the FACTS guidance around wearing of masks, maintaining hand hygiene, keeping a physical distance from others and not mixing with people in other households. 
“Everyone is firmly encouraged to adhere to these directions. It is essential that anyone experiencing any of the following symptoms of COVID immediately self-isolates and arranges to be tested, and that they continue to self-isolate until they obtain a result: 
  • Raised temperature 
  • New continuous cough 
Change to or loss of sense of taste and/or smell. 

“The symptoms of COVID-19 can be mild, but this does not reduce the level of risk to others from what can be a deadly virus. If in any doubt at all, please immediately self-isolate, arrange to be tested and work with our Test and Protect team to help limit any further spread. 

“The responsibility rests with every one of us to do our part to try and limit the spread of coronavirus, and protect ourselves, our loved ones, neighbours, colleagues and communities.”  

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