North-east MSPs welcome vaccine progress

North-east MSPs have welcomed Scottish Government plans for the first coronavirus vaccinations to be given as early as next month.

Friday, 20th November 2020, 1:29 pm
Updated Friday, 20th November 2020, 1:32 pm
Both MSPs have hailed the announcement as a major step forward in the fight against coronavirus.

It comes after Health Secretary Jeane Freeman updated the Scottish Parliament and said the first groups to be prioritised for vaccination have been identified based on current independent clinical advice.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin and Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson have welcomed the news which could see older care home residents and the over 80s be the first to be vaccinated.

Ms Freeman has said once these initial priority groups have been vaccinated, those over 65 will be offered the vaccination along with those under 65 who are at additional clinical risk, before moving on to the wider population over the age of 18.

An agreement has also been reached with the British Medical Association on the terms and conditions of GPs’ involvement in the programme.

Ms Martin said: “This is very welcome news after what has been an incredibly tough time for everyone as the coronavirus has impacted every aspect of our day-to-day lives and devastatingly led to the loss of so many lives.

“The global scientific, research and pharmaceutical community has come together and achieved creating vaccines which are not years but months away.

“It is a brilliant step forward and I look forward to more announcements to come from the Health Secretary in the months ahead.”

Mr Stevenson added: “I am delighted that after months of uncertainty, we have news which makes the possibility of a return to normality next year far more realistic.

“This is an important step in making sure the general population is protected against the coronavirus.”