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Vaccine rolled out to more than 1,000 locations as deaths continue to rise

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The newly approved Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine will be available in more than 1,000 locations in Scotland from tomorrow, according to the Scottish Government.

Vaccinations have already taken place in Tayside, Lothian, Orkney and the Highlands but will be rolled out more widely after Scotland suffered the highest daily death figures since the start of the pandemic and hospital numbers rose above the peak in April.

The total number of lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK has now exceeded three million since the outbreak began, according to the government’s dashboard.

First doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, which requires two doses to be fully effective, will start to be administered in GP practices and community centres.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said there were 1,100 vaccination sites, including more than 750 GP practices.

Scores of community centres and village halls across the country have also been earmarked as vaccination hubs.

Unconventional locations include Dunfermline Athletic FC’s East End Park, Dewars ice rink centre in Perth, a former Topps Tiles shop in Elgin, Motherwell Concert Hall, and the Time Capsule in Coatbridge.

In England about 1,000 GP sites, 200 community pharmacies, 223 hospital hubs and seven mass vaccination sites should be up and running this week as the country aims to immunise 13 million people by mid-February.

Scotland has an allocation of 533,640 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine this month. People aged 80 and over will be invited to attend for vaccination by their local NHS Board or GP practice via a letter or by phone.

Ms Freeman said: “When it is your turn to be vaccinated you will be contacted by your local health board and I urge you to please take up the offer.”

Meanwhile, the number of Covid patients in hospital reached a record high yesterday as another 93 deaths linked to the virus were recorded.

There are 1,596 people in hospital confirmed to have Covid, up 66 from 1,530 in 24 hours.

Of these patients, 109 are in intensive care – up by seven from the previous day. A further 1,865 positive cases were also reported by the Scottish Government.