In light of the recent course change with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination David Pfleger, Director of Pharmacy and Katrina Morrison, Clinical Lead Nurse for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme NHS Grampian are encouraging residents in Grampian to continue rolling up their sleeves to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.


David Pfleger, Director of Pharmacy (who received his AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on 7 April) said: “The new JCVI guidance will mean that for a very small and specific group of individuals we will change the brand of vaccine that we offer. As we begin to see the success of the vaccination programme it is important to have the experiences of the past year at the forefront of our minds. The risk of COVID-19 infection remains and the more people we can vaccinate in the population helps us to get towards achieving herd immunity and reduce the risk of new variant development.


“Choice of vaccine brand will continue to be based on age / clinical circumstances and the stock available to us in the programme. Like other NHS Boards, we are not in a position to offer a choice of vaccine brand.”


Katrina Morrison, Clinical Lead Nurse for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme added: “The vaccination team will incorporate the new guidance into the public programme.  We have robust training in place for all our vaccinators and they are kept up-to-date with any changes.  As part of an individual’s pre-immunisation assessment the vaccinator will ask a variety of questions to determine vaccine suitability.


“I imagine the change in guidance may cause an element of anxiety, however it’s essential that people continue to attend their vaccination appointments as scheduled and discuss any concerns with the vaccinator.  I also advise individuals to read information from reliable sources, such as NHS Inform. Further information is available on their website here.


“In Grampian we have delivered over 270,000 first doses and over 320,000 doses in total.  We are delighted with the response and overwhelmed by the positive feedback we are receiving from the public which is a credit to our dedicated staff.


“At the moment we are focussing on second doses for our over 70s before offering vaccination to adults aged 49 and under who have not already been vaccinated as part of priority group 1-9.


“We are compiling a Question and Answer paper (Q&A) and we will share this with you soon.”