NICOLA Sturgeon has met with staff co-ordinating the roll-out of the Covid vaccine in Scotland’s capital.
Doses of the much-anticipated jag from Pfizer BioNTech will begin tomorrow.
The medics administering the vaccinations will get theirs first, with patients in priority groups at the head of the queue.
They include health and social care workers and people aged over 80.
Today the First Minister was at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, one of the 23 centres where the first inoculations will take place.
Sturgeon, a former health secretary, met with staff, was given a tour of the facility and learned about the detailed preparation which has gone into organising the delivery of the vaccine.
The programme will follow the independent advice received from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Andrew Mencnarowski, clinical lead of outpatient theatres, will be the first person at the Western General to receive his dose.
The First Minister said: “I’m grateful to everyone involved in giving this vaccine to those who need it most.
“By vaccinating the priority groups they will be covering those associated with 99 per cent of preventable Covid-19 deaths. That is a very compelling reason to put these groups first in the queue for this vaccine.
“Finally there is light at the end of the tunnel. But I ask everyone to be patient as we work our way through this vaccination programme, and continue to follow FACTS to keep us all safe.”
Calum Campbell, chief executive of NHS Lothian said: “As we prepare to launch our staff vaccination clinics, we reach a crucial milestone in the fight against Covid-19. Across NHS Lothian, a huge amount of planning has and will continue to take place to ensure that we can deliver the vaccine quickly, efficiently and effectively.
“I am delighted that the first Covid vaccinations in NHS Lothian will be given tomorrow and would like to thank all our staff for their dedication in making this happen.”
The vaccine, which must be stored at well below freezing, has been transported in temperature-controlled lorries.
It will be given in two doses, at least 21 days apart. Scotland has an initial delivery of more than 65,500 doses, with more to follow.
Planning is underway for the vaccine to be taken to care home residents from December 14.