Scotland's COVID vaccination programme now delivering 'ahead of expectations'
The COVID vaccination programme in Scotland is now delivering "ahead of expectations", the health secretary has said, following claims the rollout was "lagging behind" its UK counterparts.
It was confirmed on Sunday there had been a record increase in the previous 24 hours of 52,839 - bringing the total number of people who have had their first dose to almost 840,000.
The figures represent just over 99 per cent of older care home residents, 90 per cent of staff in older adult care homes, 94 per cent of those over the age of 80, 64 per cent of those aged 75 to 79 and 26 per cent of 70 to 74 year olds.
Meanwhile, 10,582 people have had their second dose.
The First Minister said the programme is "on track to hit all targets" while Jeane Freeman the Scottish Government hopes to see "a significant drop in the disease" because of vaccinations.
The improvement follows a recognition from the health secretary that Scotland needed to "vaccinate faster", with the government having come under criticism from opposition political parties for showing slower rates than Northern Ireland, England and Wales.
Freeman said at the weekend: "Scotland’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is now delivering ahead of our expectations, thanks to the enormous efforts of our vaccination teams.
"I would like to thank everyone who is working tirelessly to make this a success, and also every individual who has taken up their offer of a vaccine.
"We hope to see a significant drop in the disease due to the vaccination programme, however this will take a number of months to evaluate fully.
"In the shorter term, we are monitoring the uptake rate but we also have a comprehensive surveillance system in place to monitor outcome of vaccine efficacy and disease reduction."