Scotland will have 500,000 fewer coronavirus vaccine doses than anticipated over the next month, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister told MSPs there may be times in April where second doses will have to be prioritised following delays to the supply chain.
During her update ahead of First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Sturgeon said: “Many will have heard reports in the past 24 hours that across the UK supplies of vaccine will be lower than expected.
“I have had discussions in the last two days with representatives of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
“At present we expect that over the next month, we will have approximately 500,000 fewer doses than we had previously anticipated.
“For that reason, there may be periods in April when we need to prioritise second doses.”
The Scottish Government still expects to offer a first dose of the vaccine to the remaining JVCI priority groups by the middle of next month as planned, including those aged over 50, unpaid carers and adults with particular underlying health conditions.
In addition, the vaccine programme is still on target to offer a first dose to all adults in Scotland by the end of July.
The First Minister added: “We’ve always known that supplies will be subject to some volatility, but the rollout of the programme overall continues to be really encouraging and it does give us real cause for optimism now about the months ahead.”
Sturgeon also confirmed that a further seven people have died in Scotland after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
The death toll of those who tested positive now stands at 7536, however weekly figures on suspected Covid-19 deaths recorded by National Records of Scotland suggest the most up-to-date total is at least 9831.
Total confirmed cases of the virus has risen to 211,854 – an increase of 624 in the past 24 hours.
The daily test positivity rate is 2.7%, down from the 3% reported on Wednesday when 625 cases were recorded.
According to NHS boards across Scotland, 405 people are currently in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 – 17 fewer than what was reported on Wednesday. Out of those, 38 patients are in intensive care.
The First Minister also confirmed that 2,023,002 Scots have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, an increase of 41,184 from the day before.
She added that 192,100 people have received their second dose, a rise of 10,221.