Nicola Sturgeon is facing growing pressure after Scotland missed its key target date for fully vaccinating all 40 to 49-year-olds. The double-jabbing of all over-40s is “a gateway condition” to enable lockdown restrictions to ease in just two weeks’ time.
It was just last month the first minister told the Scottish Parliament that the 40-49 age group should have received both coronavirus jabs by 26 July, but Public Health Scotland’s latest vaccination figures (released on Monday 26th) showed 23.4% had yet to receive a second dose.
That means about 150,000 people are yet to be fully vaccinated.
On Sunday, Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie branded the situation “humiliating for the SNP government – but it should worry us all…”
Ms Baillie warned that the “stalling” vaccine rollout, was “the biggest threat to the planned route out of lockdown.”
Yesterday afternoon Ms Sturgeon hit back by claiming she said second vaccine doses would be ‘offered’ to the 40-49s, rather than ‘delivered,’ but her exact words to the Scottish Parliament were:
“…by 26 July, we expect to have given second doses to all 40 to 49-year-olds”.
At a training college in Tulliallan Ms Sturgeon said:
“I think it’s important we deal in facts and not in childish politics, which at this time is not what we should be doing. No vaccination target has been missed and that’s not an opinion, that’s a fact. What we set ourselves… was offering, by now, the first dose of the vaccine to every adult, everybody over the age of 18, and two doses to the over-40s age group.”
The first minister has also previously said all 30 to 39-year-olds should have had their second doses by 20 August. However as of yesterday, 63.1% of people in this age group still had not been double-jabbed.