Humza Yousaf says ‘exceptionally high’ number of jags still needed to meet covid booster target

An “exceptionally high” number of booster vaccines need to be given over Thursday and Friday for Scotland to meet its target of having 80% of adults “boosted by the bells”, the Health Secretary has said.

Humza Yousaf said approximately 120,000 people would need to receive booster jags for the ambition to be achieved by the end of this year.

But he stressed vaccine clinics have the capacity to achieve this, as he said whether the target was met would depend on how many people come forward.

Figures released on Wednesday showed that 2,901,719 Scots have had their booster vaccine – with the programme for administering the jags accelerated in a bid to curb the threat posed by the Omicron variant of the virus.

To meet the 80% target by the time vaccination centres close on December 31 would mean “we would have to get a run rate of around 60,000 for today and tomorrow”, Yousaf said.

He told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland: “It is really exceptionally high the number of people that we would have to end up vaccinating to get to 80%.

“Our target was always to get to as close to 80% as we possibly could, we could get to 80% because the capacity is absolutely there, it will really be dependent on how many people come forward today and tomorrow.”

But he said even if people could not be vaccinated before January 1, they should still come forward

Yousaf stressed: “Although we are putting a lot of emphasis on getting boosted by the bells, of course when we get into January it will not be too late to get boosted, or to get your first or second dose.”

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