COVID in Fife: 60% get first vaccine but cases still rising

Almost 60% of Fifers have received at least one coronavirus vaccine since innoculation began in December last year - but infections are on the rise.

Dona Milne NHS Fife's director of public health, said 218,996 first doses have been given as of Monday night - equivalent to 58.6% of the Kingdom's population, according to the most recent official estimates.

In addition, 114,447 second doses have been administered, meaning almost a third of Fife as a whole has been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Ms Milne told the Fife Partnership Board: "Our vaccination programme is going extremely well.

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Fifers need to keep adhering to guidelines

"The team has really come together for the benefit of Fife and I think it's worked really well."

However, she has pleaded with locals to continue following public health guidelines on social distancing, washing hands and wearing face coverings - and to consider visiting an asymptomatic testing centre to ensure they are Covid-free before socialising.

NHS Fife has opened new testing facilities for anyone to visit in locations such as the YMCA in Kirkcaldy, alongside existing facilities at the Glebe Centre.

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While lockdown restrictions moved to Level 2 in Fife this week, allowing pubs to serve alcohol indoors and venues such as cinemas to open, local outbreaks have been reported in Kirkcaldy, particularly in the Valley and Templehall areas. The B.1.617.2 variant first detected in India has been confirmed among some of the local cases.

The public health boss added: "We've got a bit of a cluster with the strain first identified in India and we would invite anyone from Kirkcaldy, particularly in the Valley and Templehall areas, to come forward for testing and make use of these additional testing sites.

"We've still got Covid in our communities. Although these numbers are low you'll be aware we're expecting to see numbers rise a bit as restrictions ease.

"I want to remind people how important it is that we continue to follow public health measures and to make use of testing available to them and to come forward for their vaccinations."

Seven new cases of Covid-19 were recorded on Sunday, and positivity from tests is running at a seven day average of 1.62% - the highest level in over two weeks.

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