Scotland Covid update: Over 18s able to book booster appointments from Wednesday, Nicola Sturgeon says

Scots aged 18 to 29 will be able to book a Covid-19 booster vaccination appointment online from Wednesday, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The portal is already open to all over 30s.

The Scottish Government aims to give 80 per cent of adults a booster before the end of this month, the First Minister told MSPs in an update on Tuesday.

Several new measures will be taken to ramp up the rollout before Christmas, including a return to mass vaccination centres, increased numbers of volunteers, and making use of any further military support from the UK Government.

Picture: Getty Images

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The requirement for patients to wait 15 minutes after receiving a dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine has been scrapped, in consultation with UK chief medical officers, in a bid to speed up the process.

The Covid booster vaccine programme will also be prioritised over the flu vaccination campaign for the rest of the year.

Vaccination teams are making a “herculean effort” to deliver jabs, Ms Sturgeon said.

"We are aiming to reach as close as possible to 80 per cent uptake by the end of December, with the balance of appointments taking place in January,” she said.

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"I do not underestimate the challenge of this. Vaccination teams are already making a herculean effort.

“In addition, reaching that level of uptake depends on people continuing to come forward to get jags even over the holiday period.

“So, this will not be easy – we know that – but we are working on the basis that the higher we aim, the further we will get.”

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Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said mass vaccination centres should have been opened sooner.

"The vaccine booster scheme is going well and the volunteers and staff deserve our utmost thanks, but we need it to go even faster now to stop the spread of Omicron,” he said.

"Week after week, we asked Nicola Sturgeon to consider bringing in mass vaccination centres – and only now has this been accepted.

"This U-turn is welcome, but the Government's delay has cost vital time – and now they are scrambling to find venues at the last minute."

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