Nurse who vaccinated the First Minister reflects on pandemic experience
By Lucy Ashton
A West Dunbartonshire nurse, who found herself in the limelight when she vaccinated the First Minister, has been reflecting on her pandemic experience.
The day job normally for Elaine Anderson (51) is vaccinating school pupils against diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria and polio, but since January she’s been at the forefront of the Covid vaccination programme.
Elaine said: “Early on it was recognised that the School Immunisation teams had a great deal of experience in this area and as the schools were closed, we were brought into the Covid vaccination programme.
“It’s been an absolute honour, really quite overwhelming actually. In the beginning, people were coming in, often it was the first time they had been out of the house in months. Some were in tears, there was such relief.
“There’s been a real sense of solidarity – we are in this Covid war together and we will beat it.
“I have met so any great people from so many walks of life. Everyone has a story. So many interesting people I would never normally meet. Now we are vaccinating the young people which is fabulous. Many just say please get it into me – they just want go get back to normality.”
In April, Elaine found herself in front of the cameras when she gave the First Minister her first vaccination – the day Nicola Sturgeon referred to vaccinators as “heroes”.
Elaine said: “It was another honour. She was lovely and quite emotional. My son was very impressed and was telling all his friends his mum is famous as she vaccinated Nicola! Nicola, not even the First Minister!
“Nothing makes me happier than looking out the window and seeing people in their droves, lining up to get their vaccination. There’s such excitement; I get a real buzz. My parting line to them is please don’t have a vaccination party!”