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Nicola Sturgeon ‘confident’ about meeting vaccination targets

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Nicola Sturgeon ‘confident’ about meeting vaccination targets

The First Minister is “confident” the Scottish Government will meet or exceed its vaccination targets for all over 70s and the clinically vulnerable to receive the jab by mid-February.

Her comments follow concerns that Scotland is falling behind England on the rollout of the vaccine.

Sturgeon said 98 per cent of care home residents have now received the first dose of a COVID vaccine, as have 80 per cent of over 80s in the community.

Overall, 575,897 people in Scotland have received the first vaccine.

All over 80s are expected to receive their first dose by the end of this week, while over 70s and those who are clinically vulnerable will receive an invite by the end of the week.

Two mass vaccination sites opened in Edinburgh and Aberdeen today, while 150 more smaller sites are expected to become operational across the country over this week.

Sturgeon said: “Assuming supplies of the vaccine come through as we expect them to do, this expansion of capacity means that we are confident of meeting all our targets for vaccinating different groups of people.”

In England, Matt Hancock said four in five over 80s had received the first dose.

Sturgeon said: “I suspect by the end of today we will be around about 85 per cent of over 80s, so we’ve caught up with the over 80s [in England] and of course we’re now getting cracking on the over 70s.”

However, Hancock also confirmed three quarters of 75-79 year-olds had been vaccinated, compared to 14 per cent in Scotland.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “The SNP are failing to deliver a seven-day service and the First Minister seems to have no plans for getting the vaccine out to GPs faster.

“Targets are changing and the goalposts seem to be moving. The SNP’s sluggish rollout is miles behind the rest of the UK and shows no signs of catching up yet.”

The First Minister also confirmed tomorrow’s statement in the Scottish Parliament would include information about further measures to be taken to reduce the number of cases of COVID, particularly of new variants.

The Scottish Government is expected to bring in tighter restrictions on supervised quarantine for international travelers, with Sturgeon stating the current plan did not go far enough.

She will also set out expectations of when schools and nurseries will be able to reopen, details of increased testing in those settings, and plans to further rollout community surveillance and asymptomatic testing.

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