101-year-old survivor of Spanish flu pandemic receives Covid-19 vaccine

Emily Lawson was inoculated at Turret Medical Centre in her home town of Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire.

Emily Lawson
Emily Lawson

A woman born during the Spanish flu pandemic more than a century ago has received her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Emily Lawson, born in 1919 as the disease spread across the globe, was found aged just a month old lying next to her mother, who had caught the deadly strain of influenza and was too ill to look after her baby.

Now aged 101 and living through another pandemic, Mrs Lawson was one of the first in line for the latest phase of coronavirus vaccination in Scotland as the community rollout for people over 80 continues.

She took the vaccination process in her stride, saying it was “normal, just another vaccine”.

Medical worker holding vaccine vial
The vaccination programme in Scotland is expanding to people aged over 80 in the community (Russell Cheyne/PA)

Mrs Lawson was vaccinated in her home town of Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, by Samantha Wheadon, a practice nurse from the town’s Turret Medical Centre.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it currently has more than 450 Covid-19 vaccinators in hospital and community settings and is vaccinating around 20,000 people every week.

In February, this number is expected to rise to 80,000.

The health board’s director for public health, Dr Linda De Caestecker, said: “We have had a very high uptake of the vaccine so far with thousands of eligible staff and care home residents vaccinated already, and it’s fantastic to see the community rollout begin.

“Our teams are working extremely hard to get as many people as possible vaccinated as quickly as possible during this time.

“However, the rollout does not mean we can let our guard down. Our hospitals are extremely busy with Covid-19 admissions and our staff are working tirelessly to look after both Covid and non-Covid patients.

“We would urge everyone to continue following the rules to help minimise the spread of the virus.”

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