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Senior Nurse Marie Paterson was vaccinated earlier today by colleague Candice Ross at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy. Both nurses are due to play an important role in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Fife.

NHS Fife took delivery of the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines earlier this week after it was approved on 02 December by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The vaccine must be stored between -80°C to -60°C and required be thawed prior to being administered. Those vaccinated against COVID-19 receive two doses of the vaccine given around 3-4 weeks apart.

Healthcare workers involved in delivering the COVID-19 vaccine in Fife will be amongst the first to be vaccinated, along with those involved in directly caring for patients with the virus.

After receiving the vaccine, Marie Paterson said:

“I was delighted to be given the opportunity to be the first person in Fife vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I feel a real sense of duty to be vaccinated and I think it’s really important that we, as healthcare staff, do all we can to protect the most vulnerable in our society.”

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is scheduled to take a number of months, with those most at risk of the effects of the virus prioritised. The programme in Fife, like elsewhere in Scotland, will follow the independent advice received from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which recommends prioritising those at greatest clinical need.

The vaccination of care home residents in Scotland is due to begin week commencing 14 December 2020.

NHS Fife Chief Executive, Carol Potter, said:

“Today is an important milestone in the fight against COVID-19 and I’m delighted to see the first vaccinations carried out here in Fife.

“We have been preparing for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine for a number of months, and while we expect a mass vaccination of this scale to be challenging, we are confident that the necessary preparations are in place to enable us to deliver the vaccine effectively.

“This is by no means the end of the pandemic, however, and it’s vital that people in Fife do not become complacent and continue to follow the public health measures in place if we are to continue to reduce transmission.

“The rollout of our vaccination programme will take many months and we ask our population to remain patient as we follow the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advice in prioritising those most at risk of the effects of COVID-19.