Scotland will receive enough vaccine doses to meet July target, UK vaccines minister says

Scotland will receive enough vaccine doses to meet the target of giving a first dose to all over 18s by the end of July, UK vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said.

It comes after heath secretary Humza Yousaf wrote to his UK counterpart Matt Hancock on Thursday about “particularly tight” Pfizer vaccine supplies in Scotland in the next few weeks.

Ahead of a four nation health minister meeting, Mr Yousaf asked for a discussion on whether Scotland’s supply could be increased in order to “accelerate” the rollout.

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It comes after guidance from the JCVI that under 40s should not be given AstraZeneca vaccines has put more pressure than expected on Pfizer vaccine stock.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi. Picture: PA MediaVaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi. Picture: PA Media
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi. Picture: PA Media

Mr Zahawi admitted on Friday that supply will be “tight” in the next few weeks, but said he is still confident of offering every adult a first dose by the end of July.

He will discuss the matter with Humza Yousaf, he said.

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He told LBC: “I am absolutely confident, and I’ll speak to Humza on this, that we will be able to deliver the Pfizer vaccines that Scotland needs to be able to meet its targets for end of July, as the United Kingdom target.”

Asked if it would be “tight” in the next few weeks, he said: “Supply remains finite, but it is stable, and Pfizer have done a great job in being consistent on their delivery schedule.

“Pfizer have done remarkable things to increase their production, not just for us but for the whole world, for Europe and the US as well. But it is tight.”

He said every country has a delivery schedule, adding: “I’m confident that Scotland will be able to meet the target of offering every adult at least one dose by the end of July, as we will in England as well.”

Pfizer said in a statement: “We are working relentlessly to support the rollout of Covid-19 vaccination campaigns worldwide.

"In the UK, quarter one deliveries (January-March) were completed in line with our contractual agreement and we remain on course to continue to deliver a steady supply of vaccines to the UK, in accordance with the monthly schedule, agreed in advance with the Vaccines Taskforce.”

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