It is vital that everyone in Scotland gets their booster vaccination when eligible, Humza Yousaf has said.
The health secretary urged people across the country to ensure they book an appointment for their jab.
And he insisted there is plenty of capacity available as he explained it is “never to late” to receive any of the jabs – whether it be a first, second or booster.
Latest figures published on Saturday showed a further 26 deaths and 12,602 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in Scotland.
Analysis by Public Health Scotland of hospital admission data earlier indicated that around six in ten hospital patients with coronavirus are being admitted because of the virus.
Scotland’s health secretary reiterated his message to Scots to get their vaccine, with Omicron as the dominant strain of the virus.
“We believe Omicron has not yet peaked, and the pressure being felt by the health and social care system is extremely high,” said Yousaf.
“So, to protect ourselves and the NHS at this critical time it is vital people complete the vaccination course for which they are eligible.
“It remains vital that everyone gets their booster vaccine when they are eligible.”
Yousaf added: “We know many people have been unable to attend appointments because of the virus, or due to self-isolation, so I urge anyone who has been unable to attend to rearrange it or go to a drop-in clinic.
“It is never too late to receive your booster – or a first or second dose – so please come forward as soon as possible, as there is plenty of capacity available.”
Nicola Steedman, Scotland’s deputy chief medical officer, said that data showed people were “significantly more likely to be admitted to hospital” if they were unvaccinated.
“We know that boosters provide the best possible protection against this variant of the virus,” she said.
“My clinical colleagues and I know the difference this will make – we see it in our hospitals and communities every day.”
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