South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has praised the scientists and clinicians following last week’s announcement of a successful vaccine for COVID-19, the first doses of which have now arrived and are being given to front line health and social care staff across Scotland this week.

Ms Harper, who herself has been asked to participate as a vaccinator by NHS Dumfries and Galloway, commended the scientists and research teams’ efforts by saying they had worked tirelessly to assess the quality, safety and effectiveness of the various vaccines and she welcomed the news that the Pfizer vaccine is to be rolled out in Dumfries & Galloway as of this week.

The South Scotland MSP has also encouraged all constituents, to take up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccine appointment to help ensure protection for them, their families and their communities against this highly infectious and deadly virus.

Commenting, Ms Harper:

“The Pfizer vaccine is the first vaccine to receive authorisation as safe to be given to people across Scotland. A lot of hard work has gone into this vaccine from scientists and researchers across the world, and I want to thank every one of them.

“The Scottish Government undertook advance planning to be confident that, as soon as the first vaccine supplies arrived, they were ready to begin. I welcome that this has happened and that people will start to be vaccinated this week.

“This has been a difficult year and our region has well and truly played its part in the fight against the global pandemic and now we are looking to a positive future with the vaccine on the horizon. I encourage all to take up their offer of a vaccine so that we can begin to see an eased return to normality and ask everyone to bear with the current restrictions.”