Ayrshire's first recipients of the coronavirus vaccine are being given their jab today.

The Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will be given to NHS Ayrshire and Arran's vaccinators before they then go on to administer it to others in the health board area.

Today, Tuesday, December 8, marks the start of the NHS's phased delivery of the vaccine to older people, health staff and care home workers.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran received its first delivery of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine yesterday and the rollout will follow the independent advice received from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the prioritisation for receiving the vaccine. The first to be vaccinated will be the vaccinators themselves.

John Burns, NHS Ayrshire and Arran Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to have received our first delivery of the vaccine into NHS Ayrshire and Arran and to have started our vaccination programme today. Delivering a vaccination programme of this size will be challenging, however we have planned carefully to ensure we have an effective programme to deliver vaccination in the weeks and months ahead.

“As we follow the JCVI prioritised cohorts we will ensure timely communication at each stage of the programme.

“I realise how challenging these last months have been, however I would ask that we all continue to follow the FACTS advice to ensure we continue to protect ourselves, our families and friends.”

There are 23 sites across Scotland which will act as vaccination centres for the priority groups.

Deputy chief medical officer Nicola Steedman said: “I felt genuinely privileged to see this long hoped for and clinically crucial vaccination programme begin at NHS Lothian’s Western General Hospital in Edinburgh and I would like to sincerely thank all those involved in the vast amount of work which has allowed us to reach this absolute milestone in our COVID-19 response.

“The arrival of these first COVID-19 vaccines is a huge turning point for us all and will protect those most at risk from the serious effects of the virus, but we can’t relax yet.

“Even after the first people are vaccinated it will be important for now that everyone continues to follow the Scottish Government’s guidance for their area and, above all, to follow FACTS.

“These will continue to be the most important things we can do to protect ourselves and others from the virus, as we continue to roll out the vaccination to all of those who need it.”