Sturgeon blames vaccine app issues on high demand and NHS computer systems
The First Minister has blamed the problems with her government’s vaccine passport app on high demand and a computer error – as she faced down repeated criticism of the ‘shambles’ from opposition leaders.
At Nicola Sturgeon’s first weekly Covid update since the launch of the vaccine passport app – which led to the Scottish Government offering an apology to app users – the First Minister reiterated that the enforcement of the vaccine passport regulations will not commence until 18 October.
Sturgeon said that high demand and an error in “one part” of NHS Scotland’s computer systems led to the issues experienced by app users.
The First Minister also highlighted that those who are “willing or unable” to use the app could request a PDF or a printed certificate from the NHS to show their vaccine status.
However, opposition leaders took the opportunity to berate the First Minister for the calamitous roll out.
Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross described the launch as “an utter shambles”, and asked how the Scottish Government did not foresee the demand for the app when it was handing over £600,000 to the app’s developers.
The First Minister explained the unpredictability of the winter period led her government’s development of the vaccine passport app, explaining: “We do not know - no country does - what pressure we're going to be under the coming winter. This is the first winter where we will have Covid circulating and no lockdown.”
Sturgeon also added: “It is prudent to have in place proportionate steps so that we have the best possible chance of keeping cases under control.”
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar accused the FM of “making this up as she goes along”, as he questioned why COP26 attendees will only have to show a negative lateral flow test, while Scottish residents must show proof of vaccination to attend gigs and sporting events.
Sturgeon responded that “on the certification scheme, I've made it clear that I don't consider the launch of the app to be remotely satisfactory” and further highlighted the gap between legislation and the enforcement of the regulations in order to allow for issues to be fixed.
On the requirement of attendees to COP26, Sturgeon said that her government is working with the organisers and attendees from other nations.