Covid vaccine: Nicola Sturgeon's tantrum about lesser mortals questioning her words can't hide need for her government to do better – Brian Wilson

Nicola Sturgeon’s pulpit tantrum about lesser mortals failing to understand the meaning of words should encourage members of the Scottish media to prove they are smarter than she thinks by challenging her conceits more often.

Nurse Lorraine Mooney gives a vaccination to a member of the public in the car park of Crieff Community Hospital (Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA)

As usual, it was all about Ms Sturgeon but actually the statistics matter a great deal more. The key lesson is that in order to reach the substantial numbers of unvaccinated people in Scotland – particularly in younger age groups – exhortations from a politician and a professor have long since passed their sell-by date.

I have argued throughout that greater localisation would have been more effective than a pan-Scotland approach which created endless anomalies while eventually falling on many deaf ears.

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Covid Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon attacks critics of vaccine rollout and questions...

It also creates a degree of inflexibility which – as in everything from ferry travel to the awful case of Claire Herriot – leads to a denial of humane common sense.

We fell behind on vaccinations because it took too long to decentralise and to make them more available to people who had no antagonism but did not find it particularly easy to access them.

The use of community influencers has also been shown to be crucial to uptake. With these lessons applied, targets might be achieved.

Meantime, the return of students must be pre-empted as a threat, given the grim results of last year’s unpreparedness. There is an absolute responsibility to ensure availability to every student on every campus, so there can be no explanation for non-vaccination other than a point-blank refusal.

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