THE first round of COVID-19 vaccinations has now been carried out in all of Fife’s 76 care homes.

Around 5,000 vaccinations have been given to care home residents and staff who were among the first to be prioritised for immunisation.

A further 7,100 healthcare staff working in the Kingdom have also received the vaccine as part of the efforts to maintain critical NHS services over the extremely busy winter period.

NHS Fife’s Director of Public Health, Dona Milne, said the achievement was an "important milestone" in their efforts to protect the most vulnerable in Fife.

“While this is really encouraging, it is vital that we do not become complacent," she said. "We know that the prevalence of COVID-19 in our communities has increased and we need local people to continue to follow the public health measures in place if we are to suppress the virus and reduce the numbers becoming seriously unwell with COVID-19.”

Fife residents aged 80 and above will be the next priority group to begin vaccination, as set out in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance.

This follows the recent approval of the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine, which will see those aged 80 and over vaccinated at their local GP practices.

All 54 GP practices in Fife will be participating in the COVID-19 vaccination programme, with most beginning to book appointments this week.

Patients aged 80 and over will be contacted by their local GP practice by letter or telephone as a vaccine becomes available to them. This group will be followed by those aged 75-79 then those aged 70-74 age range and those considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable.

Broad timelines for the vaccination of these other groups will be confirmed in the coming days.

Given the significant scale of the vaccination programme, patients are asked not to contact their local GP practice for updates to ensure phone lines remain available to those requiring urgent assessment.

NHS Fife’s Director of Pharmacy and Medicines, Scott Garden, urged Fifers to be patient as they wait for their appointment.

“We recognise that many people are incredibly keen to get vaccinated and we are asking for continued patience over the coming days and weeks as the community vaccination programme rolls out," he added.

“Healthcare staff are working incredibly hard to vaccinate local people as quickly as vaccine supply allows and we will get to all of those who are eligible and who wish to be vaccinated in the coming weeks.”

A local online support hub has been created to provide information on testing for COVID-19 and updates on the pandemic and can be found at

Anyone with an an enquiry related to COVID-19 vaccinations can call the Scottish COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013 which is open seven days a week between 8am and 8pm.

Additional information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Scotland is available on the NHS Inform website at

A freephone helpline, 0800 028 2816, is also available to help with any questions about COVID-19 and is open from 8am to 10pm each day.