The document explains that this is “the most important public health goal of our lives.”
It is also understood that the Scottish NHS has already awarded a contract for the supply of refrigeration equipment to store the vaccine when it becomes available.
The email sent by NHS Lothian Director David Small to members of the Health and Welfare Partnership (HSCP) in different parts of local authorities, describes the scale of the operation required.
He explains: “The timelines are uncertain, but we are working on the assumption that a vaccine will be available from mid-December 2020.
“This will be a mass immunization program to achieve the most important public health goal of our lives.
“We would like to meet with the HSCP and Council leaders in each area to brief you on the likely shape of the program, discuss delivery options and agree on how we can work together to be successful.
“Given the tight schedule, I hope you can meet us as soon as possible. ”
National Services Scotland of the NHS have signed an agreement with an English company to buy refrigerators to store the Covid-19 vaccine.
The £ 329,000 contract with Labcold resulted in the hiring of the Basingstoke-based company to store and transport the necessary refrigeration equipment.
Scotland will have access to millions of doses pre-ordered by the UK government.
New drugs generally take years to develop and be considered safe to use. But teams of scientists have been working around the world at an unprecedented rate to find a way to conquer Covid-19.
The UK government has secured access to 300 million doses from global manufacturers in anticipation of their approval. And health boards are speeding up preparations to release them to the public.
Labor MSP Neil Findlay has called on the Scottish government to be open and transparent about the timing of a vaccine delivery.
He said: ‘After an eight-month tortuous lockdown that affected every citizen across the country, with people losing their jobs and businesses and, more tragically, their lives, it took an email leak from NHS Lothian to establish that ‘they are actually planning to roll out a vaccine nationwide.
“This is the news that people have desperately heard since the crisis began and instead of telling people about this game changer the government seems to want to withhold the information.
“They should be open and transparent with people. It should be a time of celebration, not a time to keep people in the dark. ”
Phase three trials of a vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and -AstraZeneca are underway around the world.
He is one of the pioneers but there are nearly 200 in development.
Another vaccine is also being made in a small factory near Edinburgh by the pharmaceutical company Valneva.
The developers believe it could offer “better, longer, and broader levels of protection” to high-risk groups.
The research team has won a £ 1.4 billion contract with the UK government to deliver 60 million doses by the end of next year if they are successful in trials.
Kate Bingham, chair of the UK Vaccine Task Force, previously said vaccinations for some of the most vulnerable people could start “this side of Christmas”.
Scotland’s national clinical director Jason Leitch also said vaccinations could start before the holiday season. He said that while officials do not expect a product to be available “within days”, there have been encouraging developments.
When contacted NHS Lothian about the leaked email, Small said: “As part of the national response to Covid-19, NHS Lothian, along with colleagues across Scotland, is currently reviewing plans to mass vaccination, to make sure we’re ready. to respond, as soon as a vaccine becomes available.
“We asked staff who might be interested in volunteering to become a vaccinator to let us know in order to create a database as part of the overall preparedness planning. ”
A Scottish government spokesperson added: ‘We cannot be certain when a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine will be available.
“Our influenza vaccination and Covid-19 vaccine program board is reviewing how the Covid-19 vaccine will be deployed. This includes logistics, including who will deliver the vaccine and how it will be stored.
“The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunizations provides expert advice to ministers to help inform decision-making on how the vaccine supply will be deployed in Scotland.
“In Scotland we already deliver almost two million doses of vaccine regularly each year and we have a full distribution infrastructure in place.”
The Covid-19 vaccination program comes amid growing concerns over the deployment of the flu vaccine in Scotland.
Glasgow NHS chief Jane Grant was forced to apologize earlier this week for the flu mess in the region.
She vowed to learn lessons after failing to prioritize older people over younger patients in rolling out the winter vaccination program.