Health Secretary visits care home as residents among first to get Covid-19 booster

Elderly care home residents are among the first in Scotland to receive their Covid-19 and flu vaccines as a winter booster programme is launched.

On a visit to the Victoria Manor care home in Edinburgh, Holyrood Health Secretary Humza Yousaf urged those eligible to receive their latest vaccination to protect loved ones.

More than two million people will be offered the booster over the next three months in an effort to alleviate the pressure facing the NHS.

By the end of the week, all over-65s will have an appointment invitation while more than 41,000 frontline health and social care workers have booked their appointments since the process opened to them last month.

Residents and care home staff will be among the first to receive the booster, alongside frontline health and social care workers.

All adults aged over 50, those aged five to 49 who are in a clinical risk group – including pregnant women – will be offered the vaccination top-up.

Those over five with immunosuppressed household contacts and carers over the age of 16 will also be contacted to be offered the vaccine.

The rate of Covid-19 infection in Scotland has been in decline for several weeks in a row, with latest figures from the week to August 23 estimating one in 55 people in Scotland has the virus.

Mr Yousaf said: “This country is indebted to those dedicated frontline workers who work tirelessly to get the majority of Scots immunised all year round – and whose efforts have led to a sharp hospitalisation in recent months.

“Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and the NHS from both Covid-19 and flu viruses, and I encourage you to take up the offer of a booster when you receive your appointment.”

Victoria Manor resident Agnes Taylor was among the first to receive the winter booster.

The 93-year-old said: “It’s good being able to have both vaccinations at the same time here in the care home.

“I’m getting both to help my protection and, of course, for the protection and safety of others in the care home or visiting.”

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