Covid Scotland: Health Secretary Humza Yousaf admits Scotland will have to deliver 'exceptionally high' number of booster jags to hit Hogmanay target

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has said that in order for Scotland to meet its ambitious target of giving booster jags to 80 per cent of adults it will have to administer an “exceptionally high” number of vaccines in the next 48 hours.

Mr Yousaf said that a “rate of around 60,000 jags over today and tomorrow” would be needed to meet the target and get the majority of the population “boosted before the bells”.

Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland he said: “It is really exceptionally high the number of people who we would have to end up vaccinating to get to 80 per cent.

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"Our target though of course is always to get as close to 80 per cent as we possibly could.”

He added that the country has the capacity to meet the goal but whether or not it is met will be dependent on how many people come forward to receive their jags.

Despite the push to fully vaccinate over 18’s by midnight on Friday, the Health Secretary emphasised that the service will still be available into January, for first, second and third jags.

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Asked about the calls for the Scottish Government to reduce the 10-isolation period to ease the pressure across various sectors of the economy, Mr Yousaf said that the question they are looking to answer is whether reducing the isolation period would inadvertently accelerate community spread of the virus.

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Covid Scotland: Health Secretary Humza Yousaf admits Scotland will have to deliver 'exceptionally high' number of booster jags to hit Hogmanay target (Picture credit: Paul Reid)

“Of course, that would be bad for public services and bad for the economy,” he said.

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"There’s a whole range of data we will look towards… current trends of infection, the hospitalisation data and many other data sources, but the ultimate question we need to answer is if we do reduce that isolation period, does it inadvertently accelerate transmission because that is of course something that nobody wants.”

He said he and his colleagues see the “enormous pressure” on public services and the economy and they hear the calls from individuals asking for a reduce isolation period to be considered, but added: “I won’t preempt any final decision that is made, other than to say we are genuinely looking at it with an open mind and being guided by the data.”

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