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Coronavirus vaccine is 'light at the end of the tunnel', says Nicola Sturgeon

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Coronavirus vaccine is 'light at the end of the tunnel', says Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon has described news of a new vaccine against coronavirus as “light at the end of the tunnel".

Speaking at the COVID briefing, the First Minister said the vaccine, thought to be 90 per cent effective, offers hope that "science is going to find us the way out of this terrible time".

The vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, is at an advanced trial stage, with Sturgeon describing the development as “news that should give us all some tentative hope”.

Opposition parties also welcomed the news, with Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone saying it was “hugely encouraging” and Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross describing it as “early Christmas present for everyone who has sacrificed so much over the last eight months”.

The comments came ahead of a statement at the Scottish Parliament tomorrow on the first review of the levels allocated to each local authority, with the FM warning it was “highly unlikely” that restrictions would be eased, and that some areas could see tougher restrictions.

The FM announced that 1,226 patients are in hospital with a confirmed COVID-19 case, down by 19, with 105 being treated in intensive care.

There has been a further one death registered in the preceding 24 hours of a person who had the virus.

The FM said: “I would not anticipate much easing of restrictions when we announce the first review outcome tomorrow. I wouldn't be expecting areas to go down a level. We are obviously looking at whether there is any case for any part of the country to go up a level. We want to avoid that."

She added: "We have got to look at the trend and we have got to satisfy ourselves, particularly before any area moves down a level, that a downward trend has been established and that we think it is sustainable."

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