Friday, 5 Mar 2021

Nicola Sturgeon forced to publish vaccine data after being accused of ‘misleading’ Scots

Nicola Sturgeon says data about vaccine supplies will be published

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Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of misleading the public on coronavirus vaccinations, as the Tories insisted a key target had been missed. Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said the First Minister had been “caught spinning the stats and misleading the public” after she said the target of vaccinating all over-70s and all those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable had been achieved. On Thursday’s coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon said the Government will announce information on vaccine supplies weekly.

She said: “There’s one point to highlight for anyone who plays very close attention to those weekly supply updates.

“The supply data which we will publish every Tuesday will relate to the stocks we have received by the previous Sunday evening.

“However the daily data on vaccinations we publish next Tuesday will cover all vaccinations up until 8.30am on the Tuesday morning.

“It won’t be possible to work out the vaccine doses that have been administered as an exact proportion of the vaccine doses that have been supplied because there’s always going to be that one day difference in the data.”

On Monday, Ms Sturgeon said she was “satisfied that we have met that target”, adding that “everyone in these groups has been offered the vaccine”.

But the latest figures showed that 143,752 80 percent of people on the shielding list have had their first jab.

Mr Ross is demanding that Ms Sturgeon “apologise for this completely unacceptable attempt to hide the truth”.

The row erupted after the First Minister told MSPs at Holyrood that by 8.30am on Wednesday a total of 1,320,074 Scots had received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine – an increase of 32,070 from the previous day.

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With National Records of Scotland (NRS) figures showing coronavirus deaths in care homes having fallen by 62 percent in three weeks, she welcomed this as the “first hard evidence of the positive impact of vaccination”.

Mr Ross said she had “tried to dupe the public about meeting key targets”, branding this as “shocking”.

The Conservative MP said: “These new statistics show that the SNP missed their target and, in fact, one in five of the extremely clinically vulnerable are still waiting for their jab, days after the SNP said everyone would have it.

“Journalists have been asking about vaccine rates for people who are shielding for some time and been batted away at every turn. Now we know why the SNP took that secretive approach.

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“Nicola Sturgeon has been caught spinning the stats and misleading the public. She couldn’t have been clearer in the Scottish Parliament that the SNP’s target was to vaccinate everyone who is shielding by mid-February.

“The public need to know they’re getting honest and accurate information from the First Minister. She must apologise for this completely unacceptable attempt to hide the truth.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “This claim is completely untrue – by 15 February we had not only met but exceeded our targets for those aged 70-74 and 75-79.

“Up to 15 February, the statistics showed we have given first doses to 88 percent of those aged 70-74 (that is now at 90 percent) while the number vaccinated in the 75-79 age group has exceeded the estimated population set out in the vaccination deployment plan.

“The deployment plan was based on an uptake of at least 80 percent in each cohort, and that was met yesterday for those who have been advised to shield. We are also on track to deliver first doses to those aged 65-69 by early March.

“We have offered first doses to all over-70s, all residents and staff in care homes for older people, all frontline health and care workers, and all people with a serious clinical vulnerability. Anyone who believes they should have had an invite but hasn’t should visit NHS Inform to find out what they should do to get their appointment.”

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