Scots NHS ready to vaccinate 'entire adult population'

Health boards in Scotland are ready to vaccinate the adult population of Scotland "as quickly as is feasible", Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister welcomed the emergence of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, which has 70 per cent effectiveness and may be more “straightforward” to distribute nationally.

Tory Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson asked how preparations for a vaccination programme were progressing, as Ms Sturgeon updated MSPs.

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"Can I ask the First Minister if she is satisfied that every health board is in a suitably enhanced state of readiness and what contingency plans are being put in place for those parts of the health service most at risk from competing pressures?" Ms Davidson said.

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Ms Sturgeon said uncertainty remained over licencing of the vaccines and quantities of supply that would be available. It is also not clear who gets priority for vaccination, although care home residents and staff will be among the first.

"We want to vaccinate the entire adult population as quickly as it is feasible to do," Ms Sturgeon said.

The Pfizer and Moderna candidates which emerged last week with over 90 per cent effectiveness require to be stored at extreme cold temperatures.”

She added: "The AstraZeneca one appears to be more straightforward than some of the other ones, which is why that is good news.

"There was a direct question - am I satisfied that every health board is in the position that they need to be? At this point yes, but this will be not be a fixed judgement.

"We will continue to monitor that, to work with health boards to make sure that some of these uncertainties become clearer.”

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