Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th January 2021.

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The First Minister:

The health secretary has reminded me that every MSP was sent a communication last week that had a map of every health board’s initial plans for vaccination in terms of the general practice and community provision. If any members have not received that, the health secretary will be happy to send it again.

There are some issues that we cannot be definitive about right now because of what I set out around the remaining uncertainties about overall supply schedules and the timing—the phasing—of the schedule of supply. That information is becoming clearer all the time and I hope that it will become much clearer and firmer in the days ahead. As it does so, we will make sure that Parliament is updated and, crucially, as people start to get the invitations for vaccination it will become clear to the public, as well.

We are following the clinical priority list of the JCVI, which is important because that is based on the people who are most likely to get ill and die if they get the virus. In totality, that list includes about 2.7 million people and our reasonably cautious plan at the moment says that we will complete at least the first dose for everybody on that list by early May. However, we want to accelerate that if it is possible to do so. That is what we have tasked the vaccination team with exploring all options to achieve.