A roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations to people aged 40 to 49 in Dumfries and Galloway is getting underway.
Appointments are going out over the next three weeks, with vaccinations taking place over a three-week period.
The move to start vaccinating those aged under 50 takes place in line with national directions and the anticipated national availability of vaccine stocks.
Dr Nigel Calvert is immunisation co-ordinator for NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and he said: “We are now planning the roll-out of vaccinations to the 40-49 age cohort, with letters beginning to go out next week.
“Throughout this programme, careful planning has taken place to ensure we have had sufficient stocks to provide second doses as required within eight to 12 weeks of the first vaccination.
“As a result, we are continuing to ensure our capacity is closely aligned to our vaccine supply.”
Currently, 17,375 first dose vaccinations have been delivered in the region to people aged under 50, due to eligibility as someone extremely vulnerable, with an ‘at risk’ condition, an unpaid Carer or working in a person-facing role in health and social care.
Dr Calvert said: “Over the past few weeks, significant progress has been made in delivering second dose vaccinations – now standing at 43.2 per cent of the entire adult population of Dumfries and Galloway.
“It means some of the most vulnerable members of our community have the highest and longer-lasting degree of protection against the coronavirus
“However, it’s vital that everyone takes up the opportunity to be vaccinated, helping to protect themselves, their loved ones and communities.
“As such, we’d like to encourage everyone aged under 50 to take up the opportunity when it’s presented – and as vaccination supplies arrive hope to be able to deliver this roll-out very quickly.”
As at 26 April 2021, total of 89,012 first dose vaccinations have so far been delivered, representing 72.1 per cent of the entire adult population in Dumfries and Galloway.
There have been 58,732 second doses, which means that 66 per cent of everyone who has been vaccinated to date has received both a first and second vaccination.