CORONAVIRUS vaccinations have commenced in Forth Valley with frontline health and social care staff among the first to receive the jab.

The first vaccinations took place at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert on Tuesday, December 8.

The initial vaccine supply for the first two weeks is being prioritised for frontline health and care staff working in the highest risk areas, and those caring for the most vulnerable.

Separate arrangements are being made to vaccinate local care home residents across Forth Valley from December 14.

Plans are also being made to vaccinate other priority groups in the first phase, including people aged 80 and over who will be invited to clinics.

Everyone being vaccinated will be given two appointments as two doses of the vaccine are required for it to be fully effective, which are given between 21 and 28 days apart.

Scott Mitchell, NHS Forth Valley’s director of pharmacy, is encouraging people to take up the offer of the Covid-19 vaccine as it continues to be rolled out over the next few months.

He said: “The initial priority groups will start to be offered a free Covid-19 vaccine over the next few weeks and I would urge all local people who are eligible to get vaccinated to help protect themselves during the ongoing pandemic.

“Our priority is to protect the most vulnerable as soon as possible and roll out the vaccine to other groups over the coming months to help drive down rates to the lowest level possible as we work towards eliminating the virus completely.

“However, in the meantime, we all need to continue to protect ourselves and others by following the national guidance on the use of face coverings, hand sanitiser and physical distancing.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who are not in the initial priority groups for their patience as we protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and those frontline health and care staff most at risk first.

“We are already working on our local plans to roll out the vaccine to a wider group of people as soon as this is possible.”

Jeane Freeman, health secretary, said: “This is the best news than any of us have heard about the virus since the pandemic began.

“For all the difficulties that lie ahead, the arrival of the first vaccine should give us all real hope that the end of the pandemic is on the horizon.”

All vaccines that are made available to the general public have been through a series of rigorous clinical trials to test for safety and efficiency.

A new Scottish Covid-19 vaccination helpline will be launched on Tuesday, December 8, to answer any queries people maybe have about the programme.

It can be contacted on 0800 030 8013 from 8.00am to 8.00pm seven days a week.

Further information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme can also be found on