Nicola Sturgeon slams UK government on publication of figures
According to UK Government figures, just 9,628 people received a first dose of a vaccine as of January 31 – the lowest level recorded since they began reporting the figures. The Scottish Government has itself stated the overall total of people who have received the first dose of the jab is now 610,778. That number is well below the one million target for the end of January set by the SNP.
Although often being praised for how she has handled the pandemic north of the border, Ms Sturgeon has now come under intense scrutiny to failing to proceed with the vaccine rollout.
While Scotland reported such low figures for vaccinations on January 31, 289,359 were carried out in England.
The UK has recorded 9,296,367 vaccines overall, prompting questions from opposition MPs and MSP north of the border as to why Scotland is lagging so far behind.
Scotland Secretary, Alister Jack revealed nearly close to a million vaccines had been allocated north of the border.
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However, just half have been used with 50 percent remaining in freezer facilities.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “Today’s daily vaccination figures are the lowest yet.
“The SNP’s slow Covid vaccine rollout is lagging miles behind the rest of the UK.
“They’re letting Scotland down at the biggest challenge facing us.”
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The criticism towards Holyrood was also echoed by Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Willie Rennie.
He said: “It was clearly a bogus claim that Scotland’s roll-out was slower because care homes took longer.
“England’s care homes are all but done and their nationwide roll-out is still racing ahead.
“The care home excuse was bogus.
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“The gap with England is growing with Scotland even further behind by the equivalent of 182,000 vaccinations.
“We knew this vaccine was coming so had time to prepare.
“We even had a warning sign when the flu campaign stumbled in the autumn yet the Scottish Government were still not ready.”
Despite the criticism, Ms Sturgeon claimed the Government was still on track to give vaccines to all over-80s by Friday.
She said today, 98 percent of all care home residents and 88 percent of staff had been vaccinated.
In order to kickstart its vaccination programme, the Scottish Government opened major vaccination hubs in Aberdeen and Edinburgh on Monday.
The First Minister said: “One of the things in my mind is our rate dipping a little on a Sunday.
“Are enough people being given appointments to maintain that throughput on a Sunday?
“We will look critically, on a day-to-day basis, to make sure if there are any areas we can speed up then we are taking action to do that.”
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