Scots national Covid vaccination plan to be unveiled this week

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A national Covid-19 vaccination plan for Scotland, setting out the timescale and who gets the vaccine first, will be set out by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman this week.

A network of larger "vaccine hubs" will be at the heart of the blueprint to distribute the vaccine to 4.5 millions Scots adults, Ms Freeman revealed today.

It came as a second potential vaccine developed by US firm Moderna reported 95 per cent effectiveness against Covid-19 in trials, following the 90 per cent effectiveness reported by Pfizer last week.

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Coronavirus in Scotland: Second Covid-19 vaccine is over 90% effective in trials
Plans for Scots vaccine roll-out will be unveiled this weekPlans for Scots vaccine roll-out will be unveiled this week
Plans for Scots vaccine roll-out will be unveiled this week

The latest candidate is “in the mix” of vaccine supplies earmarked for Scotland through the four-nations approach, Nicola Sturgeon said.

Ms Freeman said she would set out Scotland's proposed vaccine plan to MSPs at Holyrood later in the week.

"That plan will cover as best we can our estimated timeline for delivery – and it is estimated until a point we are sure exactly when levels of supply of the vaccine will come to us," Ms Freeman told today’s daily coronavirus briefing.

"We've got an agreement, a four-nation agreement, around the procurement of vaccines and then their distribution.

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"The plan will also set out who will be vaccinated first, taking the guidance of the joint committee on vaccines and immunisation and also the various places where people will be able to get their vaccines and how we will let folks know when their appointments are coming up.

"Those places will be a mix of large vaccine hubs where we can put through large numbers of people, but also more localised an perhaps mobile vaccination centres, particularly for rural communities, but also for those communities, not necessarily in rural areas, but in urban areas where it is easier for people to get to a local centre to get vaccinated than it is to go through a large drive-through."

A major public information campaign will also be undertaken about availability of the vaccine, as well as seeking to illustrate the safety of the immunisation process amid some emerging concerns in some online forums about this.

"It's really important that people understand the importance of this vaccine, the benefits of it and are assured by all the information we can give them about the safety of that."

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Ms Sturgeon welcomed the news about the success of the latest US vaccine from trials.

The First Minister said: "The Moderna vaccine is one that is in the mix of the UK Government's vaccine supply, although the ones we expect to have most supply of most quickly are Pfizer and hopefully the AstraZeneca one."

Another contender, Janssen has started trials, with NHS Tayside taking part in this.

"Everywhere you look just now there is really positive, optimistic news on vaccines,” Ms Sturgeon said.

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"There are hurdles to overcome. We can't absolutely rest on our laurels, but there is every reason to be optimistic."

Chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith said dozens of vaccine projects were active globally and many are starting to report their findings.

He said: "These should give us signs of optimism that vaccines will offer a scientific means by which we can exit this pandemic.

"I hope that over time what we will see is more and more of these vaccines proven in the research basis and they can be actively moved to a delivery phase.”

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