Scottish Government accused of 'complacency' over vaccination programme as key target set to be missed
Almost 25 per cent of 40 to 49-year-olds had still not had their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine by Saturday, according to the latest figures.
The First Minister said a month ago that by 26 July, she had expected second doses to have been given to all people within that age group.
However, latest Public Heath Scotland figures show that on 24 July just 75.8 per cent had been given two jabs ahead of the target date, while around 90 per cent had received one dose.
It means that barring a significant uptake, it is unlikely that target would be met in time – prompting criticism of the SNP from opposition parties.
Jackie Baillie MSP, Scottish Labour's health and COVID recovery spokeswoman, said: "The SNP’s failure to meet this flagship target is humiliating for them – but it should worry us all.
"The First Minister was clear that the lifting of restrictions depends on the success of the vaccine roll-out, but their failure to meet key targets raises fresh doubts.
"From the stalling vaccine programme to the collapse of test and protect, the SNP’s complacency has become the single biggest threat to our journey out of lockdown.
"With the Delta variant still rampant across Scotland, it is more important than ever that everyone gets both doses. More must be done to make sure everyone can get their second jab as quickly as possible."
In her statement at the Scottish Parliament on 22 June, Nicola Sturgeon also said all 30 to 39-year-olds should have had their second dose by 20 August.
As of Saturday, 36.1 per cent in that age group had received both vaccines and 80.3 per cent have had the first dose – raising questions as to whether this target can be met as well.
Annie Wells MSP, Scottish Conservatives health spokeswoman, said: "It is time for the SNP to face the reality that they will miss key target dates for the vaccination rollout.
"They must pull out all the stops to guarantee people will be vaccinated as quickly and as easily as possible to allow us to return to normality."