Plans for vaccinating Scots against coronavirus are “well advanced”, Nicola Sturgeon claimed.
Up to 4.5 million adults across the country could get the injections at a mix of large vaccination centres and smaller, local ones.
The First Minister said details are being finalised as new data from US firm Moderna suggests another breakthrough in the fight against Covid-19.
The interim results indicate their formula could prevent 94.5% of people from getting the lethal virus.
Sturgeon, speaking at today’s coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, said the vaccine is “in the mix” as part of the UK Government’s supply.
She also said Pfizer’s vaccine – which announced trial results last week – is the one she expects to have “most supply of most quickly”, with another being developed by AstraZeneca.
“Our planning in Scotland for roll-out and delivery of the vaccine are well advanced,” the First Minister said. “There are hurdles to overcome but there is every reason to be optimistic about this.”
The First Minister and Health Secretary Jeane Freeman discussed plans for a mass vaccination campaign at a meeting last week, and will set out more to parliament shortly.
Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman (Image: Daily Record)
Freeman said: “We’ve been planning for some time in the hope of vaccines getting through the clinical trials and being approved to run a national vaccination programme for all adults in Scotland – so that’s about 4.5 million people.”
She added: “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 vaccine 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 and perhaps mobile vaccination centres, particularly for our remote and rural communities.”
Speaking about the vaccination campaign, she said ministers and health bosses are “just waiting to be absolutely certain about the dates when we can kick it off and get going”.
Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Gregor Smith, said there is now “real optimism that vaccines will offer a scientific means by which we can exit this pandemic”.