The SNP’s slowing down of the vaccination programme means they will miss their own rollout targets.
SNP Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has admitted almost one in three 18-29 year olds won’t have had a vaccine by the time scheduled first doses are completed. He said that he is only expecting ‘to get around about the 70% mark’, despite all adults having a scheduled appointment.
Scotland’s vaccination rollout has slowed in recent weeks. This week has seen roughly between 6-8,000 first doses delivered each day, with the equivalent week a month ago seeing between 18-20,000 daily vaccinations delivered.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said at a briefing on 18 June that all adults in Scotland would get a first dose by 18 July, two weeks ahead of their initial target of July 31.
However, current vaccination trends mean that over 450,000 adults in Scotland won’t have had a first dose by 18 July.
Scottish Conservative MSP Graham Simpson, is urging “everyone who has not had their vaccinations to get their jag” and has been trying to myth bust.
Hospital admissions among people aged 20-29 have tripled in the last month, while the highest hospital admissions for the week ending July 6 were among the 30-39 cohort.
Graham Simpson, MSP for Central Scotland, said: “Just as we near the finishing line, the SNP’s vaccination rollout has slowed down in Scotland. The SNP are going to miss their own critical rollout targets which is a failure solely on their watch.
“This is not just a few young people missing out on their first dose. Around one in three of them will not have taken up their scheduled appointment which is concerning, while over 450,000 adults in Scotland won’t have had a dose by the time the SNP promised they would have.
“We needed more targeted messaging to this group of people and I welcome the messaging coming out at this stage.
“The SNP’s Health Secretary must urgently redouble his efforts and do everything he can to encourage young people to take up the vaccine. They must also ensure they can access vaccine drop-in centres and clinics as easily as possible.
“Hospital admissions have been rising among our young people in recent weeks. Ensuring as many young people get a vaccine can help that doesn’t become a continued trend. 18-29 year olds who contract COVID may end up with Long-COVID and not be able to live the life they want.
“We know that vaccinations are our best protection from this virus and are the best route back for young people to enjoy doing the things they have been missing out on.
“The SNP’s failures to hit their own rollout targets cannot put the easing of restrictions at risk in the coming weeks. Every possible measure must be taken by SNP Ministers to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible.”