Nicola Sturgeon fumes over claim Scotland is ‘catching up’
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon was left shaking her head during her coronavirus briefing on Thursday after being mocked over the slow pace of Scotland’s vaccine rollout. Rupert Evelyn from ITV poked fun at the First Minister saying how “everyone was delighted” to hear Scotland had “finally caught up” with the rest of the UK regarding vaccination statistics. Mr Evelyn also stated there were still an “awful lot of people” yet to receive a dose, a reflected that appeared to irk Ms Sturgeon still further.
The ITV correspondent said: “Cleary I think everybody will be delighted to hear you have finally caught up with the rest, or appeared to have caught up with the rest of the UK, in terms of vaccination statistics now.
“But there are still an awful lot of people who are left behind aren’t there, how are you going to help for example the 85-year-old man we have spoken to today,” he asked.
“Who still have no idea when they are going to get their vaccination?”
Ms Sturgeon attempted to defend her Government’s record on vaccinations and asked to know the details of the 85-year-old in question.
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She said: “If you have an 85-year-old please send their details to us.
“In any big program, there will be individuals for one reason or another who might get missed.
“But they should be very small numbers and the final target date for vaccinating all over 80s was tomorrow in fact.
“So if you have an 85-year-old pass the details and we look into getting answers as to why they don’t know why they haven’t been vaccinated.
Nicola Sturgeon says Brexit vaccine argument is ‘over simplistic’
“But the vast majority over ninety per cent of over 80s are vaccinated already.”
The First Minister accepted she was “fighting a losing battle” to try and convince people the “lagging behind” with Scotland coronavirus rollout was not a result of “slowness” but a decision to prioritise vaccinations on the most at-risk.
She said: “We have made a decision in Scotland to prioritise vaccinating, not just offering vaccines to the most vulnerable groups, but actually making sure we are delivering the highest possible uptake.
Ms Sturgeon also suggest the uptake rate amongst the most vulnerable groups would be higher in Scotland than England, saying: “I suspect our uptake rates in these groups will be higher.”
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It comes after Ms Sturgeon was pressed on the European Union’s handling of the crisis in the wake of the decision by Brussels to threaten Northern Ireland with the triggering of Article 16.
Challenged by the Good Morning Britain presenters on Thursday morning with the failing of the EU, Ms Sturgeon struggled to find positives to draw.
She said: “I’m not going to sit here and say anything other than I think it’s really good the UK has managed to procure as much vaccine and that the UK as a whole is getting ahead in terms of vaccine.
“Of course for any country, we all have an interested in seeing all countries get the population vaccinated because this is a global pandemic.”
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