And they expect to have finished vaccinating locally by late spring 2021.
In a letter to politicians David and Oliver Mundell, NHS Dumfries and Galloway chief executive Jeff Ace revealed they are still awaiting details of timings for the region’s allocations of both the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines, pointing out that neither of them have yet received final regulatory approval.
Hoping for confirmation of timescale and doses ‘within days’, he said: “We are, however, planning on the reasonable assumption of receiving supplies of the Pfizer vaccine before Christmas, with the Astra Zeneca product arriving early in the New Year.”
Mr Ace said that storage and transport complications around the Pfizer vaccine ‘make it less easy to deliver to home or small community settings’, so they anticipate it will be administered through a mass vaccination centre.
However, the Astra Zeneca product is described as ‘far more flexible in storage and administration’ and officials are planning to take it out to communities in smaller vaccination hubs and to individuals unable to leave home or care homes early in the New Year.
Mr Ace added: “As you can imagine, the logistics of this programme are hugely challenging and we are diverting staff and planning resources accordingly to ensure that we complete vaccination of all older adults (and ultimately the entire adult population) as quickly as possible.
“Both vaccines require two doses approximately three weeks apart, so full population coverage will not be achieved until late in the spring.”