Nearly half of all over-80s in the north-east have received the first dose of their Covid-19 vaccine – with the rest on track to get theirs by the beginning of February.
The vaccination programme in Grampian has been stepped up in recent weeks and nearly 38,000 people have had the first of their two jabs so far.
Health chiefs say “excellent progress” has been made with the rollout, with the vast majority of care home residents also having received their first doses.
The over-80s, another of the first groups to get their jabs, are being vaccinated at sites across the area.
So far, more than 40% of the group have had the first round of their inoculation – and the rest of over-80s who are able to get to vaccination sites will be seen by February 5.
For those who require vaccinators to come to their home, visits will take place up to the end of next month.
A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said: “Excellent progress is being made with the over 80-year-old cohort with ambulant individuals being, in the main, vaccinated by their General Practice.
“To date, just over 40% of Grampian residents over 80 have been vaccinated. Plans are in place to complete the vaccination of ambulatory patients by February 5.
“For patients yet to receive a letter of invitation they will be arriving very soon. Housebound patients in this cohort are being vaccinated at home by local District Nursing Teams with help from additional vaccinators.
“They will receive a letter advising that the local vaccinator team will be in touch to arrange their vaccination.
“The vast majority will be completed by February 5 but with continued vaccination at home carrying on until February 22 for those who are housebound.”
For those who have not yet received their letters, or whose GP practices are not taking part in the vaccination programme, letters will be sent out from NHS Grampian informing them of the time and date of their appointments.
Meanwhile, health bosses have revealed all care home residents have now been offered a vaccine, with more than 90% accepting.
Additionally, there has also been a 75% uptake among home staff who fall into the older age categories – and the health board has launched a bid to get more signed up.
The spokeswoman added: “NHS Grampian and the Health and Social Care Partnerships have now offered a first vaccination to all older people care home residents with an uptake in excess of 90% based on estimated bed numbers for residents.
“Older people care home staff have been offered the opportunity for vaccination since early December at Health and Social Care Partnership clinics.
“Once we began vaccinating older people care home residents in their care homes, care staff could also opt to have their vaccination there.
“The 75% uptake amongst older people care home staff is a strong start and we continue to encourage this group of staff to take up the ongoing offer of vaccination.
“In terms of timescales this remains an issue of uptake rather than provision and we will of course continue to offer this group of staff the opportunity to be vaccinated.”
Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon told supermarket customers to wear a face mask over both their mouth and nose, shop alone and limit visits to once a week as she highlighted the Covid-19 risk in retail.
The First Minister stressed the importance of wearing a face-covering properly, as she announced a further 71 deaths and 1,480 positive coronavirus tests had been recorded in the past day.
There have been eight new deaths of people with Covid-19 recorded in the north-east, according to the latest statistics from the Scottish Government.
Public Health Scotland shows four people in Aberdeenshire, two in Aberdeen City and one in Moray have lost their lives with the virus in the last day.
Across Scotland, however, there were signs that the grip of the coronavirus was loosening, as the test positivity rate dropped to 6.9%.
That is its lowest value since Christmas, and approaching the 5% threshold used to determine whether the spread is under control.
In the NHS Grampian health board area, 128 new cases have been reported meaning it has identified 11,724 cases since the pandemic began.
Ms Sturgeon told the daily coronavirus briefing that shopping for food is now “one of the few reasons why we should be leaving our homes” – as she stressed it is not risk-free.
“The new variant is spreading faster and more easily so it is all the more important that when we do go to a shop… we take the necessary precautions,” she said.
“Remember, your face covering should be over your mouth and your nose.
“That’s really vital to make sure it’s giving you the protection that it’s designed to do but also that it’s giving the people around you maximum protection as well.”
She asked people to order their groceries online for delivery if possible, to otherwise limit visits to shops to once a week, and not to go into a shop if it is busy.
“Shop alone if you can,” she said. “Don’t go with other people.”
The First Minister also announced extra funding to support health and social care workers.
She said £500,000 will be given to health boards and health and social care partnerships to implement requests from staff, such as for free hot drinks or snacks during breaks.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I’m flagging this up today just as a way of underlining how much we owe our health and care workers, but also as an example of what we’re trying to do to support them in practical ways while they continue to perform such an incredible service for all of us.
“I don’t think we’ll ever be able to repay those on the front line of health and social care for everything they have done and everything they have suffered over the duration of this pandemic.
“But in every way we can, it’s important to support them and to show our gratitude.”