Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 15th December 2020.

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Photo of Richard Leonard Richard Leonard Labour

I am sure that the First Minister will be aware of research published in

The Lancet this morning that showed the much higher and disproportionate incidence of Covid-19 admissions to critical care units among patients from more deprived areas of Scotland. It also found a significantly higher incidence of Covid-related deaths in those areas. The research cited factors such as

“the financial necessity to continue working ... the nature of employment ... Public transport may pose a significant risk”,

and it pointed to poor housing and crowded accommodation—all synonymous with poverty and none a matter of choice. How seriously is the Government taking the unequal impact of Covid-19 on those in Scotland who are living in the deepest poverty? We know that the roll-out of the vaccination programme rightly reflects age and occupation, but, in the light of today’s findings, will the First Minister give higher priority to people living in Scotland’s areas of highest deprivation, and will she both make available and promote the vaccine accordingly?