The Shadow Health Secretary, Donald Cameron, has written to Jeane Freeman following reports that the Scottish Government has failed to request help from the UK Armed Forces to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Scottish Conservative MSP said: “It’s frankly shocking that SNP ministers are not deploying the full power of the state to deliver the vaccine. If there is one resource that has the expertise in logistics to respond to an emergency it’s the Armed Forces."
“As we know, rural and remote areas present big challenges when it comes to vaccine distribution, particularly during the winter months, so why on earth aren't SNP ministers on the phone to the Ministry of Defence asking for significant assistance in rolling out the vaccine?"
“The army is doing sterling work elsewhere in the UK in support of the civil authorities and should be given the same opportunity here in the Highlands and Islands.”
The text of Donald Cameron’s message to Jeane Freeman is provided below for information:
Support from armed forces in COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Highlands and Islands
I write to you regarding the above matter.
I was concerned to read recent media reports that several communities in the Highlands and Islands region have not yet received COVID-19 vaccines, and that many vulnerable people in these communities have not yet been vaccinated at the same pace as those in more densely populated parts of Scotland.
I note from your remarks today in the Scottish Parliament that there are currently 33 members of armed forced personnel assisting with the COVID-19 vaccination programme, and that more vaccines are due to be received in the coming weeks.
With that in mind, I wanted to know if the Scottish Government has considered seeking further support from the armed forces to help administer vaccines in the more rural and remote communities in the Highlands and Islands, and if not, why not?
I look forward to your response.
Yours sincerely etc…
More on this story here: https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/politics/uk-politics/2808067/scottish-vaccine/