Nicola Sturgeon BLASTED for ‘risking UK Covid vaccine supply’ – ‘Completely irresponsible!

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The document contained details about the current supply of coronavirus jabs, and timescales for when it would be delivered to different groups. The First Minister was forced to retract the vaccine delivery plan, but insisted it was published on “transparency” grounds.

Ms Sturgeon stated she was “not convinced” publishing details of the UK’s supply of vaccines would impact other countries putting pressure on jab manufacturers to divert more doses away from the UK.

During her daily coronavirus briefing she said: “We were seeking to be clear on the targets we are setting for the numbers of people vaccinated, then to get people as much assurance as we can, subject all the caveats that we still have to put in place about the supply flows that we’re expecting.

“But the UK Government’s got some commercial confidentiality concerns about that so we’re having a discussion with them about what can be published.”

She added later when pressed on the impact on vaccine supply: “The UK Government have been talking for a long time about the supplies that they have managed to secure so these are estimates of the supplies have been secured.”

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Whitehall sources told the Daily Telegraph publishing vaccine information was “completely irresponsible”.

They claimed health officials scrambled to fix the fallout with vaccine manufacturers after sensitive information was released.

Nadhim Zahawi, vaccine minister, is believed to have contacted Pascal Soriot, chief executives of AstraZeneca, over the scandal.

A Government source added: “There are security concerns. It’s a highly valuable commodity. Officials in the taskforce and DH were on a huge mission last night to reassure manufacturers and suppliers.

“Hopefully people understand the reason why we can’t do this. It’s a security concern but also there is a need to protect suppliers who will be under pressure from other countries due to the sheer volume we have in this country.”

Vaccine delivery schedules and storage locations had been kept secret up to Wednesday by the Government.

A recent call with Downing Street saw the three leaders of the devolved administrations urged to keep the information a secret over fears of international outcry.

The document released by the Scottish Government on Wednesday published estimates for the distribution of jabs all the way up to May.

A new version has been published by the Scottish Government since the outcry with redacted supply figures, but Downing Street insiders fear the “damage has already been done”.

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It came after Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman was blasted for disclosing the location of a vaccine storage facilities in Hollywood.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government admitted the location was “not publicly identified” over “security protocols”.

The Scottish Conservatives lashed out at the incident, and said: These mistakes potentially endanger supplies and risk impacting the rollout of the vaccine.

“We all want the delivery of the vaccine to succeed but these entirely avoidable mistakes suggest the SNP are running about like headless chickens behind the scenes.”

The UK has recorded a further 48,682 cases and 1,248 deaths within 28 days of a positive test yesterday.

According to the Government website, the UK has recorded 3,260,258 cases and 86,015 deaths within 28 days of a test in total.

Thus far 2,910,027 Brits have got the jab against coronavirus as of yesterday, with 2,494,371 being a first dose.

The Midlands have vaccinated the most people out of every region in England, with 447,329 jabs administered.

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