NHS Lanarkshire say more than 28,000 people in the health board area have received their first Covid-19 vaccination dose in the past six weeks – and that there will be a “significant increase in scale” of the immunisation programme from early next month.

Health officials announced last week that first doses for all eligible care home residents had been completed, and say that work with GP surgeries has been taking place since January 11 to contact everyone aged over 80 and people who are housebound.

They form part of the first wave of priority group immunisations and will be contacted by phone or letter over the next three weeks, with NHS Lanarkshire saying: “Please be patient and wait to be contacted.”

An update from the health board states: “We plan to finish these groups by early February, after which we will move on to inviting people in wave two; among the first people to receive appointments in this wave are everyone aged 70 and over, and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable – this is people who are shielding.

“There is a significant increase in the scale of the vaccination programme from wave one to wave two, and people in wave two will be called to large vaccination clinics that are currently being set up across Lanarkshire.”

Among the venues to be used as vaccination centres will be the Time Capsule in Coatbridge, Sir John Wilson town hall in Airdrie, and Old Monkland and Gartlea community centres; along with a further 27 community venues and 42 GP surgeries across the county.

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Dr Mark Russell, who is associate medical director of Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire, is leading on the delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine across the NHS Lanarkshire area.

He said: “This is the largest vaccination programme ever undertaken and we are asking people to be patient and wait to be contacted.

“All appointments are being scheduled nationally using information from GP practice records, so it will take time to get to everyone in any one priority group.

“When you receive your appointment, there will be an option to change it if it is not suitable – however, we would encourage people to take the vaccine when they are offered it.”

He added: “While the vaccination programme is a great step forward in winning the fight against Covid-19, we can’t become complacent.

“We need to continue to play our part in keeping ourselves safe, which means continuing to follow the national FACTS guidance – Face coverings, Avoiding crowded places, Cleaning hands and surfaces regularly, keeping Two metres distance from other people, and Self-isolating and booking a test if you have symptoms, of a new continuous cough, fever, or loss or change to sense of smell or taste.

General information is available at www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine, and the NHS Lanarkshire website will be updated when further local information becomes available.