Claim Scotland is first place in UK to get Covid-19 vaccine into care homes is False 3

Claim Scotland is first place in UK to get Covid-19 vaccine into care homes is False

The Covid-19 vaccination programme has begun in Scotland, with residents and workers in care homes a high priority. 

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine began to be delivered to Scottish health boards over the weekend of 12 December, and on Monday the First Minister said that more than 18,000 vaccinators, health and care workers had received the first dose.

In her daily coronavirus briefing, at which the First Minister updates on latest figures and takes questions from journalists, she said Scotland was the first part of the UK to get the vaccine into care homes. 

vaccine care homes

Ferret Fact Service looked at this claim and found it False


The vaccination programme in the UK is currently working to immunise high priority groups. The first doses have been given to vaccinators, care and health workers, as well as those aged over 80 in hospital. Care home residents will also receive the first batch of the vaccine, and in Scotland the authorities have started to rollout the programme in care homes.

The First Minister announced on Monday 14 December that Scotland was the first UK nation to get vaccines into care homes. 

This is not accurate. Northern Ireland confirmed it had started this nearly a week before, on 8 December.

The first care home in Northern Ireland to receive the vaccine was Palmerston residential home, which provides care for older people with dementia. Patients and staff at Bradley Manor and Belmont Care Home also received the jab on the 9 December.

Northern Ireland health minister Robin Swann confirmed that about 310 staff and residents were vaccinated on 8 and 9 December at the three Belfast care homes.

Care homes in England have yet to receive the vaccine, but NHS England confirmed that delivery of the vaccination to care home residents would start on 14 December. 

A pilot for care homes in Wales is due to begin on 16 December, the country’s health minister Vaughan Gething has confirmed.

Ferret Fact Service verdict: False

Nicola Sturgeon’s claim that Scotland was the first in the UK to get the Covid-19 vaccine into care homes is incorrect. Northern Ireland was the first country in the UK to roll out vaccinations for care homes, with the first batch delivered to patients and staff in care homes on December 8, nearly a week earlier than Scotland.

This claim is false

Ferret Fact Service (FFS) is a non-partisan fact checker, and a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network fact-checkers’ code of principles. All the sources used in our checks are publicly available and the FFS fact-checking methodology can be viewed here. Want to suggest a fact check? Go to, email us at or join our Facebook group.

Photo thanks to iStock/Toa55.

Hi! You can login using the form below.
Not registered yet?
Having trouble logging in? Try here.