More than a half of adults in Scotland will have received a first dose of coronavirus vaccine by the end of Wednesday.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also confirmed the Scottish Government is on course to have offered a first dose to all adults by the end of July, supplies permitting.
As she announced three deaths of coronavirus patients and 692 new cases have been recorded in Scotland in the past 24 hours, she said the Scottish Government is also set to have offered a first vaccine jag to to all the JCVI priority groups by mid-April.
Speaking at the start of First Minister’s Questions at the Scottish Parliament, Sturgeon said 2,249,612 people in Scotland had received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination as of 7.30am on Wednesday and 249,252 have received their second dose.
She told MSPs: “We are on track by the end of the day to have given a first dose to more than half of the adult population which is a very significant milestone.”
The First Minister said “virtually all” those people aged 65 and over in Scotland had now received their first vaccine dose.
A total of 93% of those aged between 60 and 64 had had their first jag, along with 63% of 55 to 59-year-olds and 41% of 50 to 54-years-olds.
Sturgeon said: “All of this I think is very encouraging and very hopeful indeed.
“It means as we take part in this final session of First Minister’s Questions of this parliamentary term a return to greater normality for the country is now much more in sight.”
Giving a further update on the daily coronavirus figures, the First Minister said 321 people in hospital are confirmed to have the virus – down 20 in 24 hours – and of these, 31 patients are in intensive care, up three.
The said the daily test positivity rate is 3.1%, down from 3.6% on Tuesday.
The death toll under the measure used for the daily figures – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 7,562.
However, the latest figures from the National Records of Scotland, published on Wednesday, show a total of 9897 people have died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, as of Sunday.
They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because the NRS figures include all deaths where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate.