HEALTH chief Jason Leitch has urged two million Scots to be “patient” and warned it was too early to say when they would be vaccinated against Covid.
The first of 65,000 Pfizer jabs will be given to NHS staff from Tuesday with care residents next in line from December 14.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
But national clinical director Prof Leitch said the rollout of jabs to the under-50s was the “biggest unknown”.
And he said it might not be until summer before the first wave of vaccinations — targeting over-50s, health and care staff, and people with underlying health issues — is completed.
Prof Leitch’s timescale for those priority groups appeared more pessimistic than the spring date previously suggested by ministers — or the February aim revealed in a draft of Health Secretary Jeane Freeman’s speech on Thursday.
At today’s Scottish Government Covid briefing, Deputy First Minister John Swinney also said the goal is to vaccinate key groups by spring.
But minutes later Prof Leitch said: “We’re hoping to get to that over-50s group by the summer.”
He added: “If everything goes well, and you get everybody over 50 vaccinated, and those with pre-existing conditions, then you get to 99 per cent of the mortality.”
Sturgeon and Freeman accused of confusing Scots with mixed messages about Covid vaccine rollout
On when the general population might get a vaccine — around two million people — Prof Leitch said: “That that’s the biggest unknown, because once we get to the under-50s, we’re going to need big numbers of vaccine, and that’s why you can’t get us to say a month, or a date.
“That group will have to be more patient. I would hope that would begin in the first half of next year.”
Prof Leitch said that goal depended in particular on doses of another vaccine…