ELDERLY residents across East Lothian became the first in the county to receive the Covid 19 vaccine today (Monday) as supplies were delivered to GP practices.

At Riverside Medical practice, Musselburgh, appointments had already been booked for the first of its over-80s to come in for the vaccine today.

Among them was Musselburgh grandmother Anna Boyle, 97, who received the vaccine from lead nurse Diane Fyffe.

Anna said: "I've always had vaccines. I have great faith in this vaccine and think it's very worthwhile."

Riverside is set to roll out the vaccine to up to 600 patients as the first phase of the programme sees over-80s given priority appointments.

GP practices across the county received delivery of the vaccine over the weekend.

At the Harbours Practice, Cockenzie, delighted staff took to Twitter to announce their delivery had arrived as they prepared to welcome patients to the surgery.

The Riverside - the largest GP practice in East Lothian - recived an initial allocation of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine which was approved for use in January by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after an independent review process.

In line with new guidance set out by the UK Government and NHS Boards one shot will be given initially, with a second dose after 12 weeks - an approach which will maximise the number of people with some protection at a time when infection rates have increased.

Housebound patients, aged 80 and over, will be offered vaccination by local health board vaccination teams and will be contacted directly.

"We’re delighted to start playing our part in this crucial national Covid-19 vaccination programme," said Dr Joanna Stenke, GP partner at the Riverside.

She explained: "By being vaccinated we can all play our part in ending this pandemic, and look forward to the return of parts of life we miss so much, such as spending time with family and friends.

"I wholeheartedly recommend that everyone eligible should have the vaccine. I had my first dose as it was offered to frontline health workers and know my family will be lining up to do the same as soon as they’re eligible.

"GPs across the country have been asked by the Government to offer the vaccine to those aged 80 and over initially, in line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s list of the most at-risk groups. There’s no need to contact the surgery: this first group of patients – and every group GPs are asked to offer the vaccine to thereafter – will get a phone call or letter with all the details they need.

She said: "While it’s great news that this first group of patients are getting the vaccine, it’s important that we all continue to follow the national and local guidance to prevent transmission of the virus, even after vaccination. It’s only when a good number of us have been vaccinated that we’ll start to see the light at the end of the tunnel."

For more information about Covid-19 vaccines, including who will be offered vaccination and when, visit www.nhsinform.scot.