Scotland has begun administering one of the COVID-19 vaccines. The country is among the first to start rolling out the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to select groups outside of clinical trials. Among the first to receive the vaccine are frontline healthcare workers, elderly care home residents, and other at-risk groups.
The U.K Vaccination Plan
Citizens in England have also started getting the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, making the U.K (which includes Scotland) the first nation to implement a COVID-19 vaccination plan. The U.K has been following the guidelines of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization in order to determine who should get the vaccine first.
While the JCVI recommends that frontline health care workers and the elderly should be prioritized for the vaccine, they do not recommend women that are pregnant or plan to get pregnant within three months of the first dose get the vaccine, due to lack of clinical data for the vaccine’s effects on pregnant women.
The JCVI also does not recommend young children receive the vaccine in the first phase unless they are considered high-risk, again due to the lack of clinical data.
According to the JCVI, these are the groups that should be prioritized first for the vaccine.
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- All those 65 years of age and over
- All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over
It is vital that the recipients of the first dose return for a second dose in order for the vaccine to be completely effective. According to Dr. Gregor Smith, Scotland’s chief medical officer, it will likely take twelve days after the first dose for the vaccine to start actually working. Again, it is important to reiterate that two doses of the vaccine must be administered for it to reach it’s 95 percent efficacy rate, according to newly released Pfizer safety data.
In a bit of related feel-good news, a man named William Shakespeare, who hails from the same county as the famous bard, was among the first to get the vaccine. Twitter had a ball with this news.
Will the U.S and other countries start following suit in administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine before 2020 ends? Stay tuned.