A TOTAL of 49,866 first dose COVID-19 vaccinations have now been delivered in Dumfries and Galloway – representing more than a third of the region’s entire population.
The majority of people aged 65 and over have now received a vaccination, along with those who are shielding, care home residents and the majority of front line health and social care staff.
Work has been taking place this week to vaccinate cohorts 6 and 7, which includes those aged 60 to 64, and preparations are now being put in place to begin delivering second dose vaccinations to care home residents and staff.
Interim Director of Public Health Valerie White said: “We’ve reached a bit of a milestone in our rapid roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations in Dumfries and Galloway – with one in three people now provided a degree of protection against the coronavirus.
“In line with the schedules set out nationally, those who have already received a first vaccination include some of the most vulnerable in the region.
“However, it’s important that everyone recognises the dangers which still exist, and to realise that everyone needs to continue to follow the rules once vaccinated in order to protect ourselves and others.
“It’s fantastic to be so far on in our delivery of first doses, as work now begins to begin delivering second vaccinations on the basis of the national 12 week spacing between doses.
“Second dose vaccinations will take place while the roll-out of first doses continues.
“But as was noted by The First Minister this week, the future rate of vaccinations will be determined in part by national availability of vaccine supplies and we would not necessarily expect the rate of vaccination to remain uniform throughout the programme.”
Although many of those most vulnerable will now be developing some level of protection, it is vital that nobody lets their guard down at this crucial time.
Vaccines do not guarantee full immunity. They provide a degree of protection, and can lessen the severity of the coronavirus and bring down rates of transmission, but they don’t necessarily mean that you cannot catch COVID-19.
Everyone should also be aware that it can take up to 21 days for a degree of immunity to develop.
And even if you are protected, you can still transmit COVID-19 to others – including those still waiting to be vaccinated.
It is therefore essential that everyone continues to follow the rules just as diligently as they did before they were vaccinated – to protect themselves and others.
This means following the FACTS guidance around wearing of face coverings, hand hygiene and maintaining a physical distance and not visiting other people in their homes. The advice remains very clear – Stay Home, Save Lives.