Sturgeon under fire for Scottish vaccine woes

The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon is facing criticism over the slow place of the nation’s vaccine roll-out, which is only half as quick as the scheme south of the border in England.

The Telegraph reports that just 264,991 people in Scotland have received their first shot of the jab despite the Scottish government being given upwards of 700,000 doses.

Calculations performed by the paper suggest that England doubled the pace of Scottish delivery between Friday and Sunday, with just 13,383 Scots getting the inoculation per day during that period while nearly three-quarters of a million English patients did.

MP John Lamont, who represents the Scottish border seat of Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, asked: “What’s going on with the vaccine roll-out in Scotland? Why are we being left behind?”

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Donald Cameron said: “The UK Armed Forces have already had to be called-in to boost the rollout because it’s becoming clear that the SNP are straggling off the pace.”

He went on to reiterate that the SNP government has “received more than enough vaccine” to keep pace.

The British Army has indeed been called in to set up 80 new vaccine centres for NHS Scotland, beginning the work yesterday. The force is composed of 98 soldiers organised across 11 setup teams, and they’re due to work around the clock for the next 28 days to bring the Scottish scheme up to pace.

In spite of her bungled vaccine roll-out scheme, Ms Sturgeon has been accused of grandstanding during the pandemic. Her lengthy lunchtime briefings became a TV fixture during the early days of the virus.

Labour grandee George Foulkes reported the broadcasts to Ofcom over potential breaches of Beeb impartiality rules, leading to format changes. The SNP has since complained that the new programme, which gives a voice to opposition parties, is itself unfair.