Drones could deliver Covid vaccine to Isles of Scilly

Drones could be used to deliver a Covid-19 vaccine to vulnerable islanders.

Bryher island
image captionDrones could deliver Covid vaccines to Isles of Scilly residents, including those in Bryher

Details of how vaccinations would be rolled out in the Isles of Scilly were revealed at a meeting of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT).

Chief executive Kate Shields said drones were being considered because of “travel issues” to the islands.

The first Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus jabs are expected to be given to priority groups in the UK next week.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said Mrs Shields told members of the RCHT board: “Where we have vulnerable patients in the Isles of Scilly we will be vaccinating them.

“Obviously there are travel issues there and we are looking at what we can do.”

She added: “I’m not sure if I should say this but we have been looking at using a drone to fly things to the Isles of Scilly and we are looking if the vaccine can be delivered like that.”

Fishing boat lies off coast
image captionVulnerable islanders will be the first to receive a Covid vaccine

The Isles of Scilly, which lie 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, recorded their first cases of coronavirus in September.

There were 157 new cases of Covid across the two regions in the week up to 28 November.

Mrs Shields said the prospect of a Covid vaccine was “really exciting”, with vaccinations in Cornwall expected to start next week.

These would initially be given at a central site at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, she told members of the board.

The chief executive reassured residents that while the vaccine had been developed “in an amazingly quick time”, it had gone through “all the proper processes”.

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