Scotland’s First Minister Visits Hospital Where First COVID Vaccine Will be Administered
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Monday toured the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, where staff are preparing to deliver the first COVID-19 vaccinations Tuesday. Last week, Britain’s health regulators authorized the use of vaccine created jointly by U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, and supplies have begun to arrive to arrive in Britain from Pfizer’s manufacturing site in Belgium. Specialist freezers await distribution of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines to the NHS from a secure location in Britain this undated handout obtained Dec. 5, 2020. (Public Health England/Handout via Reuters)The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be stored at sub-freezing temperatures, and Sturgeon acknowledged the vaccinations would be a “massive logistical undertaking.” Sturgeon, however, also described the moment as “really significant,” after what she called a miserable year for everyone. Sturgeon said it was one of those moments where she could see a “real light at the end of the tunnel.” She said big challenges were ahead but added, “We’ve got lots of people working really hard to get it right, because this is the route out of the pandemic.” Sturgeon’s office says Scotland has received 65,500 initial doses, with more to follow. The vaccine has been transported to 23 locations around Scotland. Britain was the first country to authorize the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine for emergency use. In trials, the vaccine was shown to have around 95 percent efficacy. The vaccine is taken in two doses, 21 days apart.