Scotland’s vaccine tally ‘to hit one million this week’

The number of Covid-19 patients being treated in hospital has fallen by 280 in a week.

Scotland’s vaccine tally ‘to hit one million this week’ Contributed

One million people will have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this week, the First Minister has said.

Scotland’s vaccination programme has “undoubtedly picked up pace considerably over the course of the last week”, Nicola Sturgeon said.

However, opposition parties said the speed of the scheme “was still lagging behind England” and that the 1m milestone should have been smashed by now.

Meanwhile, the number of people being treated in hospital for coronavirus has fallen by 280 over the last week. A total of 1672 patients are currently in hospital, including 108 in intensive care.

Another five deaths have been recorded in the past 24 hours, although figures on a Monday are usually artificially low due to registry offices being closed at weekends.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also revealed that 928 positive cases had been detected since Sunday.

Sturgeon said Scotland was expected to administer the millionth vaccine over the next few days.

She told the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing that 866,823 people have received their first dose of a vaccine, an increase of 27,557 on Sunday.

This is three times the number vaccinated last Sunday, the First Minister said, when the Scottish Government was fiercely criticised for a low tally.

She added that around 80,000 people received a first dose of the vaccine over the weekend.

This is more than double the figure of the previous weekend, Sturgeon said, adding that in the past seven days more than 290,000 people have received a first dose.

A total of 99.6% of residents in older care homes have received a first jab, which is “a scale of uptake which none of us really believed would be possible”, she said.

She added that more than 95% of over 80-year-olds living in the community have had their first dose of a vaccine and almost 67% of people aged 75-79 and 29% of people aged 70-75 have received a first jab.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats said the First Minister should “cut the boasting” about the daily figures.

Party leader Willie Rennie said: “It is good news that Scotland’s rollout is slowly picking up pace, but the First Minister should cut the boasting about record daily figures when Scotland is still way behind England.

“Every day and every vaccine counts as the longer people are left unprotected the greater the exposure to risk and the longer it will take to defeat the virus.

“Almost a million people should have been vaccinated by now but we are way off that number because of the sluggish start to the rollout here.”

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