Covid Vaccination Priority Groups (Offshore Medics and Workers)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 10 February 2021.

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Photo of Liam Kerr Liam Kerr Conservative

I have a related question. Offshore medics are on the front line in the battle against Covid, helping to save lives on board oil platforms, while members of the offshore oil and gas workforce work tirelessly to protect security of supply throughout the pandemic. Is the First Minister able to give similar comfort on whether offshore medics and offshore workers should receive the vaccination as a priority in phase 2 to keep those critical workers safe?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

That will depend on the advice that the JCVI gives us. The JCVI will give the same advice to Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and if the past is anything to go by, all Governments will accept that advice. Therefore, I cannot say with certainty right now whether the workers to whom Liam Kerr refers will be prioritised in phase 2, because that would be to pre-empt the clinical expert advice that we will give, should the JCVI consider that it is appropriate to give us advice on the prioritisation of the rest of the adult population. Vaccination will be done as quickly as possible, and it will be done on the basis of the best clinical advice and in the order of priority that is most likely to reduce serious illness and cut the number of people dying from the virus. I think that that is the right way to go. I understand that everybody, virtually without exception, wants to get vaccinated yesterday, but we have to do it methodically and in line with advice, and that is what we will continue to do.