Almost 220,000 Fifers get first COVID jag – one third of region now fully vaccinated
Nearly 60% of people in Fife have received their first vaccination against Covid-19, according to the latest NHS figures.
Ben Hannan, chief pharmacist at NHS Fife, says 219,000 people have been given the first jab - 58% of the population as a whole. Of those, 137,000 have also received their second vaccine, meaning more than a third of the population are considered fully vaccinated.
Almost all 40-49-year-olds in the Kingdom have been vaccinated, and health chiefs aim to begin inoculating people in their thirties from next Monday, May 31.
Adults aged 18-29 can also register for their vaccine via a new NHS Scotland website.
Everyone under 40 will be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, as per current guidance, because of links between the vaccine and an increased risk of blood clots in younger people.
Mr Hannan says that vaccine uptake among Fifers has been generally good, despite reports elsewhere in Scotland of up to half of appointments being missed.
BBC Scotland reported that up to 50% of vaccine appointments were not attended at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow at the weekend.
Mr Hannan said: "With regards to do-not-attend rates, they have been lower than the national average in Fife.
"While we have seen some in the 40-49-year-old group [miss appointments] we still believe that nationally there are not any significant concerns with our approach."
Carol Potter, chief executive of NHS Fife, said work was ongoing to contain the Kirkcaldy cluster of the B.1.617.2 variant of Covid-19 first reported in India.
Recent studies have found that existing vaccines are effective against the new strains.
"We've had a recent cluster of cases of the new variant in the Kirkcaldy area, but we've got testing, vaccinations and all these remain a priority and measures have been put in place for cases in these areas," she said.
As of May 23, 8 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Fife, and the seven-day test positivity rate was 1.15%, down from a peak of 1.62% on May 15.
There have been no deaths from Covid-19 in Fife since April 8.
To date, 381 Fifers have died after being exposed to the virus.