Nicola Sturgeon slams UK government on publication of figures
Scotland’s First Minister defended the roll out and said there was “no explanation” for Sunday’s 9,628 doses of coronavirus vaccines administered. Ms Sturgeon shared that in total Scotland has administered around 575,897 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Overall, the UK has administered 9,296,367 first shots of the jab, equalling more than half of Brits over 70 years old.
In her daily press briefing, where she praised the vaccine rollout, Ms Sturgeon faced the press who inquired about the low daily figures.
When asked why Scotland is vaccinating slower than other UK countries, she said: “There’s a long way to go in this programme and it’s really important we do it methodically, sustainably – concentrating on the most vulnerable first.
“That’s what we have been doing and I think as we go through this week we will see further evidence that is what is happening.”
When pressed about the 9,628 jabs, she added: “It looks to me as if, for some reason, we are simply falling off a bit on a Sunday.
“But I’m absolutely clear to the team that if that is an issue — then we obviously need to resolve that, because we need to make sure we’re going at a certain pace, every single day.”
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Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross blasted Ms Sturgeon’s vaccine rollout after the record low figures.
He noted the Sunday prior also saw low figures for vaccines administered, at 11,364, and said the rollout had “fallen off a cliff”.
He said: “Today’s daily vaccination figures are the lowest yet.
“The SNP’s slow Covid vaccine rollout is lagging miles behind the rest of the UK.
“They’re letting Scotland down at the biggest challenge facing us.”
Mr Douglas also referenced Ms Sturgeon’s previous comments about prioritising care homes and said: “When we’re in a race against the virus, why are the SNP running backwards?
“All care homes south of the border have now been offered the vaccine, so the First Minister’s primary excuse has vanished.
“Hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses are available to the Scottish Government, ready for overnight delivery. Targets are changing and the goalposts seem to be moving.”
Jackie Ballie, interim Scottish Labour leader also blasted the First Minister, and called on Ms Sturgeon to “show more ambition” with a 24 hour vaccination delivery.
She added: “If we are in race against the virus then we’re losing that race and it is the people of Scotland who are paying the price.”
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The First Minister also took aim at England’s vaccine rollout in her briefing, claiming 98 percent of care home residents south of Scotland have only been “offered” jabs, compared to 98 percent administered in the country.
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, rubbished the claims and confirmed every eligible care home in England has been visited, with all residents and staff offered the vaccine by local GPs.
Willie Rennie, Scottish Liberal Democrat, suggested Ms Sturgeon’s use of care homes as an explanation for a slower vaccine rollout in Scotland was “clearly a bogus claim”.
He added: “For weeks, the First Minister has been claiming that Scotland’s vaccination lag was due to the decision to focus on care homes. Now almost all care home residents on both sides of the border have been vaccinated and the gap is still widening.
“The care home excuse was bogus. The First Minister has let people down when it mattered most.”
Another 848 cases and 6 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test were recorded in Scotland yesterday.
For the UK as a whole, 18,607 cases and 406 deaths within 28 days of a test were recorded yesterday.
In total, the UK has recorded 3,835,783 cases and 106,564 deaths.
Mr Hancock shared yesterday in a press briefing more than 900,000 people were vaccinated over the weekend, making for a total of 9,296,367 Brits receiving their first dose and 494,209 receiving their second.
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