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Close to 900 COVID-19 vaccinations delivered despite weather disruption

A mammoth effort to vaccinate more of the Orkney population continued despite the widespread disruption caused by the wintry weather. (Orkney Photographic)

NHS Orkney has confirmed that, despite Orkney experiencing its worst snow since 2010, 889 people in the 69 to 65-year-old age-group received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, at a two-day mass vaccination clinic in The Balfour.

Chief executive Michael Dickson said this achievement would not have been possible without the support of NHS Orkney’s many partners — “Team Orkney” — and that this success was without doubt testimony to a strong multi-agency response.

A spokeswoman for NHS Orkney said: “We would like to thank the many different agencies who make up Team Orkney and who played a part in opening up transport routes and supporting those trying to come in for their COVID-19 vaccination.

“We had hoped to do just over 1,000 vaccinations over the two days but didn’t hold out much hope of achieving this when the weather turned so bad.”

Mr Dickson thanked the Coastguard for moving carers about in 4x4s to get to their patients, the home carers, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for the extra marshalls at The Balfour, and the Red Cross and the Coastguard for assisting with marshalling in very, very cold weather.

“Thank you also to Police Scotland for patrolling the roads and helping stranded motorists, the OIC Roads Department for battling on to keep the roads as clear as possible and working long hours.

“Also thank you to the farmers and members of the community with tractors and 4x4s who did a wonderful job of clearing the roads and digging out stranded motorists to keep the community moving not to mention all our staff — from the vaccinators, primary care team, the pharmacy team, the porters and estates’ team.

“It was truly a whole community effort that helped us deliver these vaccines.”

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