NHS Borders will start offering coronavirus vaccinations to members of the public next week.

The region’s health board announced today (January 7) that people over the age of 80 are set to get their first jabs from next week. 

NHS Borders revealed it will receive initial supplies of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine this week.

There are 6,400 people in the over-80s group, according to the health board. GP practices will get in touch with people to arrange appointments.

NHS Borders has asked people to not contact their GP directly. 

Local GP Tim Young said: “Being able to start vaccinating in our local GP practices is a huge step forward in the further rollout of the vaccination programme and most importantly getting it to the most vulnerable people in our community as quickly as possible. 

“Our teams are working tirelessly to ensure that we vaccinate everyone aged 80 and over as soon as we can but please be patient. Your practice will contact you to invite you to book an appointment.”

NHS Borders described the coronavirus vaccination programme as “well under way”, having administered the first jab to all care home residents as well as to 2,600 health and social care staff.

The programme was officially rolled out in the Borders on December 8 after the initial Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine was approved.

NHS Borders’ director of nursing and operations and executive lead for the COVID-19 vaccine programme, Nicky Berry said: “Following a successful start to our COVID-19 vaccination programme in December, during which our teams worked incredibly hard to successfully vaccinate all care home residents within three weeks, we are delighted that we are now in a position to start vaccinating those aged 80 and over with the assistance of our GP partners. 

“We also continue to focus on vaccinating as many frontline staff members throughout health & social care.

“The vaccination programme has and will continue to be a huge team effort and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all staff throughout health & social care for their dedication and hard work. 

“I would also like to thank staff and the Borders public for their cooperation and patience during this challenging time.”