Shadow Health Secretary Donald Cameron has said that the Scottish Government’s faltering vaccination programme is a growing cause for concern.
The Highlands and Islands MSP made his comments in response to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s update to the Scottish Parliament today.
He said: “It is very concerning that the Scottish Government is failing to meet even its own targets. For instance, the SNP’s target date for all over-70s to receive a vaccination letter has slipped by a week, and we are already lagging considerably behind the rest of the UK."
“Even Nicolas Sturgeon, when put on the spot, had to accept that there are ‘legitimate questions’ to be asked about the slow roll-out."
“I accept that this is not a race, but the longer it takes to get the vaccine out to our communities, the greater the risk of further transmissions, or of the virus mutating into new, more virulent forms.”
The target to get letters to all over 70s has been missed by a week. Last Friday, 29 January, Jeane Freeman said: ‘Everyone aged 70-79, and all extremely clinically vulnerable adults, should receive an invitation letter for a vaccination by the end of this week. (link).
Vaccinating 75-79 year olds in Scotland versus the UK:
As of today (Tuesday), 21% of 75-79 year olds have received the vaccine in Scotland, according to the First Minister’s statement.
As of Saturday, Matt Hancock said around 66% of 75-79 year olds had the vaccine (link).
As of Sunday night, an NHS England press release embargoed to Monday quoted Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, who said: “over three quarters (75%) of people aged 75 and over” have had their first jab.
The updated figure will now be over 80%.