1,288,004 people have received the first dose of the Covid vaccination in Scotland and 17,137 have received their second dose as of 16th of February 2021.
This has been a phenomenal response by those developing the vaccine, producing it, administering it and those coming forward to be vaccinated.
It must be remembered that this is a pandemic. There is no where in the world that is not affected and if we want to return to anything like ‘normal’ the situation has to be dealt with on an international level.
Extremely concerning is the not unexpected variations of the virus. Some of the new variants are associated with greater contagion.
The international response is being monitored by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
WHO is assisting countries without genome sequencing capacity to identify new variants and transport specimens to regional reference laboratories. The organisation encourages countries with sequencing capacity to share their data through public databases or platforms.
The variants of Covid19 raise questions about the future effectiveness of the vaccines which will have to be adapted so that they remain effective.
WHO is concerned about the unequal distribution of the roll out of vaccines around the world. They want to see countries prioritise older more vulnerable people and health care workers.
“And while there is a wish amongst leaders to protect their own people first, the response to this pandemic must be collective.” The organisation calls ” for all well-resourced countries to show solidarity and support countries with low resources to access the vaccine.”
Getting people vaccinated is one part of the process to stop the spread of Covid19 and WHO reminds all countries that it is crucial that people continue to adhere “to public health and social measures to suppress transmission, save lives, and prevent already saturated health systems from being overwhelmed.”
” These proven public health measures could also limit the possibility of more dangerous variants of the virus appearing.
“As we know, these measures include disease surveillance, laboratory testing, isolation and treatment of all cases, and quarantine and tracing of contacts. Masks, social distancing, good hygiene practices and avoidance of mass gatherings remain just as important today as at any time during the pandemic.
“We repeat that the countries that have been most successful in responding to the pandemic have taken these measures to scale.
“Progress towards ending the COVID-19 pandemic is moving in the right direction. But this can only happen with the continued efforts of all people and all governments.”
In Scotland people are reminded about FACTS and to download the free NHS Scotland contact tracing app.
- wear a face covering
- avoid crowded places
- clean hands and surfaces regularly
- stay 2m away from other people
- self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms (new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste)
- download the Protect Scotland contact tracing app
Reporter: Fiona Grahame