Under 50s ‘to start being vaccinated by summer’

Scotland’s national clinical director made the comments during Friday's coronavirus briefing.

Under 50s ‘to start being vaccinated by summer’ Getty Images

It is hoped that under 50s will begin to be vaccinated against coronavirus by the summer, Scotland’s national clinical director has said.

During Friday’s daily coronavirus briefing, Jason Leitch said the aim was to vaccinate all over 50s in the first half of 2021, targeting those most at risk. 

If all goes to plan, the vaccination can then be rolled out to those under 50.

“What we’ve said across the whole UK is that we’re hoping to get to that over 50s group by the summer and that would allow us to remove 99% of the mortality of this disease,” he said.

“If everything goes well, and you get everybody vaccinated who is over 50 and those with pre-existing conditions under 50, then you get 99% of the mortality.”

During the briefing, deputy first minister John Swinney said 41 deaths of coronavirus patients and 966 positive cases has been recorded in the past 24 hours.

The death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 3889.

There are 965 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, a fall of 17 in 24 hours. Of these patients, 65 are in intensive care, down by four.

When asked if teachers should be included in the first few rounds of vaccinations, Mr Leitch said that the advice from the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has been to target age groups rather than jobs, with a few exceptions.

“The JCVI have told us to concentrate on age, not job and that’s where you get the biggest bang for your buck,” he explained. 

“The only exception to that profession rule is health and social care workers who are meeting actual Covid-positive patients at the frontline.”

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