Tens of thousands of people in Fife have received a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the last three weeks, new figures show.

The booster programme was accelerated in response to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant with a call from Nicola Sturgeon to get boosted "by the bells".

Data from the UK coronavirus dashboard shows 28,634 people received a booster or a third vaccine dose between December 20 and January 9, bringing the total number of people in Fife to get a third shot to 218,429.

It means 67% of people aged 12 and over in the area have now had a booster, based on mid-2020 population estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

Across Scotland, 3,114,804 people have now had a booster or third jab – 65% of over-12s.

Meanwhile, data from the UK Health Security Agency shows boosters are 90% effective against admission to hospital from the Omicron variant for the over-65s.

Protection for those with two doses dropped to about 70% after three months and to 50% after six months.

People who are aged 18 and over can receive a booster 28 days after they tested positive or if it has been at least 12 weeks since their second dose.

Young people aged 12-17 can also attend for their second dose of the vaccine – many will have received an appointment but this group can also attend a drop-in clinic at a time and place convenient for them as long as 12 weeks have passed since their first jab.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The recent acceleration of activity in response to the emerging threat of the Omicron variant has been a remarkable national endeavour and I can’t stress enough how grateful we are to all those involved.

"More than three million people have now received a booster or third dose, offering strengthened protection from the virus and reducing the risk of hospitalisation from the virus.

“However, we believe Omicron has not yet peaked, and the pressure being felt by the health and social care system is extremely high. So, to protect ourselves and the NHS at this critical time it is vital people complete the vaccination course for which they are eligible."